Sheffield United's Stephen Mallon joins Derry City

Derry City manager Declan Devine welcomes new signing Stephen Mallon to the club.
Derry City manager Declan Devine welcomes new signing Stephen Mallon to the club.

Ireland U21 international Stephen Mallon has joined Derry City on loan from English Premier League side Sheffield United.

The Belfast native who has signed a six month loan deal with the Candy Stripes, admitted that Blades club-mate David Parkhouse played a part in his move to Foyleside.

"David is a close friend and he spoke highly about the league and said that he had a great time here," he stated.

"When he came back he has put himself in a better position than what he was before he went and that's something that I kind of want to do myself. He came here and done very well and he's held in high regard since he has gone back, so as I said that's something I'm looking to do myself."

The 20-year-old left-sided player, who took part in his first training session with Declan Devine's squad on Wednesday, can play in a number of positions.

"I enjoy playing anywhere in the front three and I even do a job at left-back, but my favourite position would be in either wing or in the '10' position," he added.

"It's a massive opportunity for me. I'm going to work hard and look to try and get into the team. I know coming across that nothing is promised to me I have to work hard and get myself in the team.

"Hopefully I can get into the team and stay in and do well with the team and hopefully we can get some success this season."

As for Devine he's delighted to have added another player to his squad.

"Stephen is a talented boy, who I have known for a long time," confirmed the Derry boss.

"He's a flair player, who has a fantastic left foot, who can play left midfield, left-wing and can also fill in at left-back; so he's a player that gives us versatility.

"He's also a player that has seen the benefits David Parkhouse got last year and he's a guy who wants to prove himself at the highest level, so I'm delighted to welcome him to the club.

"Stephen will be a great addition for us in terms of us moving forward. He was part of Stephen Kenny's U21 group in Toulon. He played against Brazil and he's an exceptional talent.

"Look it's early days, but he has come into the group and will be fighting for his place, but if he has the same impact as the Sheffield United player that came here last year, then we'll be in a very good place."