Shamrock Rovers' Sean Kavanagh has no regrets at turning down Derry City move

Shamrock Rovers' Sean Kavanagh admitted he felt bad when he told Kenny Shiels that he decided not to sign for Derry City, three years ago.

Tuesday, 13th April 2021, 12:54 pm
Sean Kavanagh pictured alongside Shamrock Rovers manager Stephen Bradley in 2018.

The talented left-back, who is likely to feature in tonight's game at the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium, was on the verge of completing a move to the Candy Stripes in 2018, in fact a hold up on his paperwork meant Rovers boss Stephen Bradley pounced and got his man.

Kavanagh, who travelled to Waterford for City's opening game of the season three years ago, conceded Derry were just waiting for paperwork from Championship side Fulham for him to be registered.

Since joining Rovers, the Dubliner has won both the FAI Cup and the Premier Division title, so he has no regrets making the decision to snub Derry in favour of a move to the Hoops.

“I was literally waiting on paperwork to come through from England and I was going to sign then,” stated the former Fulham starlet.

“It prolonged and prolonged and Stephen Bradley and Stephen McPhail got onto me. It was a no brainer because I’m from Dublin and Rovers are a big club.

“I’d been up in Derry for about a week, training with them. I had no other options and Derry was the only one.

“I was quite happy to sign there but yeah, I got a phone call from Rovers and it was a sliding doors moment.”

The 27-year-old admitted having to tell the then Derry boss Shiels off his decision was awkward.

“Kenny was really good to me and he looked after me,” he added. “He picked me up for training and stuff like that, he put me up in a hotel.

“I haven’t got a bad word to say about Kenny but he might have a couple to say about me as he thought I was signing.

“But I went up and told him I wasn’t. That’s football. It was a little bit awkward because he was good enough to try and sign me.

“I felt I had to go face-to-face to explain my situation, rather than a phone call - I don’t think that really means much to be honest.

“But I’m happy enough the way it worked out so far and long may it continue.”

After what has been an injury plagued time Kavanagh hopes he can get as many minutes under his belt this season and play his part in Rovers' defence of their title and also help them keep this impressive unbeaten run going, which has seen them not lose a league encounter in 22 games.

“Last year was a time to reflect and you realise how much you miss it. So I’m taking every day, every game in my stride and just enjoying it,” said Kavanagh.

“I’m hoping for a clear run and to play games and hopefully show people what I can do.

“We did it the first game of the season against St Pat’s as well. Next is to try and score the first goal, not concede, but it’s good character to be unbeaten.”