Derry City captain Conor McCormack is a natural born winner: Declan Devine

DECLAN Devine has hailed Conor McCormack a ‘born winner’ and defended his decision to appoint the experienced midfielder Derry City captain.

Tuesday, 11th February 2020, 10:25 am
Declan Devine believes Conor McCormack will demand respect on the pitch.

McCormack, who captained Cork in 2018, will take over the captaincy vacated by Barry McNamee who has joined City’s North West rivals, Finn Harps ahead of the new season.

Mark McChrystal was appointed Derry City ‘Club Captain’ while Ciaron Harkin will resume his role as vice captain.

And while McCormack’s appointment was met by criticism in some quarters, given he had left the club in 2016 to make the switch to Leeside, Devine believes the 29 year-old midfielder will be ‘a fantastic captain’ for the Candy Stripes.

“He will be an unbelievable captain,” predicted Devine. “People say, and I’ve read on social media, he shouldn’t be given the captain’s armband because he cleared off.

“Listen, Conor McCormack left this club because he wanted to further his career when the team wasn’t doing too well. There’s a lot of players who have left and gone on to be very successful. Conor McCormack left because he’s a born winner and the club wasn’t winning when he was here.

“Conor had opportunities to double or treble the wages he’s getting at this football club by offers from Irish League clubs and League of Ireland clubs but he came here because he seen what we’re all about when he played here last year and wanted to be a part of it.

“That on its own is more than enough for me but if I watch him in training on a daily basis, his drive, determination and ability to help young players; his experience to win league titles for Shamrock Rovers, he’s played in Italy and won a league title for Cork City so it just makes sense.

“We haven’t got too many league winners’ medals in this place. I think it’s just myself, Peter Cherrie and Conor who are the only three people with a League of Ireland title under their belts at the club. So we know what it takes and Conor will be a fantastic captain for this club.”

There were plenty of potential candidates and Devine believes everyone must use their influence and leadership qualities on the pitch, regardless of who wears the armband.

“We have people who can spit a bit of acid but also calm the game down when it’s required. You need to have passion to play for Derry City and without passion you’re nothing.”

“So no matter who is wearing the armband, I expect exactly the same out of them all.”