Declan Devine delighted to win battle with St Pat's for Jamie McDonagh

DECLAN Devine believes Derry City hasn't yet seen the best of Jamie McDonagh and is thrilled the club managed to ward off interest from rivals, St Pat's to land his signature for the 2020 season.

Thursday, 12th December 2019, 10:02 am
Derry City assistant manager, Kevin Deery and manager, Declan Devine pictured with Jamie McDonagh who signed a new one year contract.

The former Northern Ireland U21 international winger came so close to cutting ties with the Candy Stripes after two and a half years on Foyleside.

St Pat's had tempted him with an attractive offer to join his good friend, Ronan Hale at Richmond Park, however, he made a u-turn and opted to agree a new one year deal with the Brandywell club.

Devine described his capture as a 'major boost' to the club as they look to build on last season's success and the City supremo believes the upcoming campaign can prove to be McDonagh's best yet!

"Absolutely it's a major boost," he said. "Jamie last year was outstanding for us. In my opinion he is one of the top wide right players in the country.

"When we look at Jamie there's nobody in the country who has a better delivery of the ball. I think there's more to come from Jamie as well. We're delighted to get him over the line."

The very fact Derry's rivals and Irish League outfit, Crusaders were keen to sign him up is proof that McDonagh is one of the top attacking talents in the league, according to Devine.

"It just shows you some of our biggest rivals were looking to take Jamie. Everybody in the league knows what he brings to the table. He's come in last year and was fantastic for us both during the week and on match day. We're delighted to get him over the line and I think this year will be a big, big year for Jamie McDonagh."

Despite Conor McDermott securing a permanent move to Cliftonville and Darren Cole out injured until next summer which leaves Devine without a recognised right-back, the City boss insists he doesn't want McDonagh to fill that vacancy.

"Jamie filled a lot of gaps last year in terms of playing at right back for us as well. This year I predominantly see Jamie play as a forward player.

"We're delighted to get him back on board,"