PADDY McCOURT: Did Roddy Collins have influence in Luton’s signing of ex Celtic star?

editorial image
  • Roddy Collins has close relationship with Luton Town boss John Still
  • The ex-Derry City manager once likened McCourt to George Best
  • Still was a guest of Collins at the Aviva Stadium for the FAI Cup Final last year

LUTON TOWN manager, John Still is no stranger to Irish football and he claims he’s been a long term admirer of new ‘Hatters’ signing Paddy McCourt.

Commenting on Luton’s in-house television channel this week, Still claimed that he first became aware of McCourt’s talent through someone he ‘has a good relationship with!’

Former Derry City boss, Collins has always been a fan of McCourt since snapping him up from Rochdale for Shamrock Rovers in 2005 and he once hailed him as being ‘on a par with George Best’.

It’s understood the Dubliner continues to have close ties with the current Luton manager but Still stopped short of claiming Collins had any influence in bringing McCourt to Kenilworth Road.

Still was taken on a guided scouting trip of the League of Ireland by Collins last year and attended Derry City’s FAI Cup Final defeat against St Patrick’s Athletic in the Aviva Stadium.

He allegedly told ex-City boss, Collins that ‘there’s not one of those players would get into my team,” after watching the Saints lift the cup after a 2-0 win.

Former Derry City star Paddy McCourt.

Former Derry City star Paddy McCourt.

Not impressed by the likes of Chris Forrester, Christy Fagan, Keith Fahey or Patrick McEleney, Still later went on to take former Derry City defender, Roddy Collins Jr on trial at the club.

Following the signing of McCourt on Wednesday afternoon, Still said he’s managed to sign a ‘very talented player’.

“I’ve knownabout Paddy for years because he’s friendly with someone I’ve got a good relationship with,” smiled the Luton boss.

“What can I say about Paddy? He can play wide on the left or inside. Supporters will make their own mind up when they see him.

I’ve known about Paddy for years because he’s friendly with someone I’ve got a good relationship with.

John Still

“He’s got fantastic talent,” he added. “He’s still involved with N. Ireland and he could be going to the ‘Euros.’

“He’s a very, very talented player, he’s got great ability - we’ve just to get him the ball.

“I’m looking for someone to play the pass and try unlock defences that type of player isn’t easy to get.

“He’s a great lad so it’s gone well for us.”

McCourt’s contract with Brighton came to an end last month having finished the 2015 campaign on loan at Notts County where he scored once in six appearances.

So he knows all about League Two and he was delighted to pen a two year deal with an option of a third with Luton.

“I’m delighted,” he said. “It’s good to get things sorted and I’m looking forward to meeting up with the lads and getting things started.

“It’s a club that’s very ambitious. I’ve spoken with the manager a few times and I’ve spoken to the chief executive and they have big plans so that was my thinking behind signing the two year deal. Not only do I want to be sucessful this year but I want to carry that on next year as well.”