Republic of Ireland U21 assistant boss expected to become Ruaidhri Higgins’ number two at Derry City

Former Waterford boss Alan Reynolds looks set for a return to Derry City next season as Ruaidhri Higgins’ new assistant manager.
Alan Reynolds.Alan Reynolds.
Alan Reynolds.

The 47-year-old, who is currently Jim Crawford’s number two with Ireland U21s, was previously Stephen Kenny’s assistant at the Brandywell in 2008 and has been in attendance at City’s games at Bohemians and Waterford in recent weeks.

The Waterford native, who coached Higgins during that second spell under Kenny’, also played his part in guiding Shelbourne back to the Premier Division in his role as Ian Morris’ right-hand man last season.

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While Higgins would not confirm Reynolds return, he said he does hope to have an assistant in place by the end of the current season.

“I’ll speak more on that kind of thing when we get the season out of the way,” stated the Derry manager. “There have been that many names going around over a number of months, but I’ve always said once there’s something to announce, then we’ll talk about it.”

The Limavady man, who is delighted to see the feel good factor back around the club over recent months, doesn’t want people to get carried away with things.

In recent weeks Derry have been liked with a host of players but Higgins is continuing to focus on the long term plans which were put in place with chairman Philip O’Doherty when he was appointed manager back in April.

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“If we were to sign every player that we were linked to we would need three or four dressing rooms in the Brandywell next season,” he insisted. “A lot of the speculation is like, if you fire enough darts you are going to hit. That’s the way it seems to be.

“Philip O’Doherty has backed the club for years and he has been brilliant. What’s happening now is actually what was planned back in April. This was always going to be the case, that we were going to invest in the squad a bit more. We are going to do that but nothing has changed since April.

“People think now that Philip has sold his business it’s going to be a free-for-all but it’s not, it really isn’t. People will see that while we want to sign winners, which we have already done in terms of Patrick (McEleney) and Michael (Duffy), we also want to sign players with potential and try to build something here.

“We want to build something over the next two or three years and it’s not going to be a quick fix. It won’t be ‘Let’s go and sign the best players from every club in Ireland’ because we want to be self-sustainable as a club. We also want to try to develop young players so we might also bring in a few young players whom we see huge potential in and give them time to develop.”

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With a host of cross channel clubs monitoring City skipper Eoin Toal’s progress, Higgins revealed the club haven’t received any offers for the centre-back, but admitted he would not be shocked by a move for the ex-Northern Ireland U21 international.

“I haven’t heard anything from that end but it wouldn’t surprise me if someone did make a move for Eoin because he’s had a very good season,” he confirmed.

“Look, it’s not going to be the Harlem Globetrotters or any of that, we are going to be very, very particular in whom we bring in. As I said, we want to build something that’s going to be good over two, three, four or five years, not just getting a team to compete to win the league next season because that normally doesn’t work.

“A lot of our work is already done and I think we are in a good position. We aren’t going to be scratching around at the end of the season trying to pick players from here, there and everywhere.

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“Whatever additions come in they will be very, very calculated. They have to fit into the personality that’s within the group already. They also need to be able to add something from a football point of view as well.

“We aren’t going to have a massive squad either. I want a tight knit group and I want people pulling in the one direction.

“Yes, we can be excited but I don’t want people getting carried away, because it’s not fair on the players we have here at the minute because they have been absolutely brilliant and the vast majority will have a huge part to play going forward.”