Video: Derry City striker Pat Hoban says move to Bruno's Magpies was 'never going to happen'

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PAT Hoban insists a move to Derry City's European opponents Bruno's Magpies was 'never going to happen' following a cheeky approach from the Gibraltar club on social media.

The Magpies' Sporting Director Jensen Dalli revealed he got in touch with the striker through Instagram when he was alerted to Hoban's potential availability last December.

It quickly became clear the Magpies would be unable to convince Dundalk's record goalscorer to move to the Iberian peninsula, particularly when Derry City came knocking for his services.

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"That was never going to happen," laughed Hoban. "That was in December through Instagram. That wasn't going to happen."

Little did Hoban envisage a return to Gibraltar would be on the cards so soon after Dundalk's scoreless draw at the Victoria Stadium in last season's Uefa Conference League first round qualifier.

He returns to lead the line for the Candy Stripes this time around and he's excited to get his first taste of European action in the red and white.

"It's a pleasure to play in such a great competition and these experiences are massive to you as a player," he added. "To you as an individual and as a team, you can create the best experiences ever but winning the league is a better experience.

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"While saying the league is a priority, every game we play or participate in we want to win. We think we can win every game we play in and this is no different. You have to respect every opposition in Europe. Smaller countries are getting a lot, lot better and more technical and fitter and you can see that with the European Championships."

Derry City striker Pat Hoban tries his luck from distance.Derry City striker Pat Hoban tries his luck from distance.
Derry City striker Pat Hoban tries his luck from distance.

And he still relishes the opportunity to test himself against different European opposition.

"There were a couple of years in my previous club [Dundalk] that we weren't in Europe. You're just watching the games at home and you're itching to be involved in those kinds of games. I'm really excited.

"You can never take anything for granted in Europe because it can be taken away from you in the blink of an eye. You have to respect everyone you play against in Europe."

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Hoban and Daniel Kelly are probably best placed out of the Derry squad to assess the challenge of Magpies and playing in the afternoon Gibraltar sunshine but the striker understands there has been a huge overhaul of players since last season and expects a different proposition.

"They're completely different. They were more direct last year. Watching them this time around they're more technical and play through the lines and stuff like that.

"They have a large turnover in players too. I think there's only four left from last year so a completely different side and hard for me to comment on them from what I've seen.

"You have to box smart with your energy levels I think over there because it is extremely hot. The game's on at 6 o'clock their time, so it is really, really warm.

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"That's what you have to kind of manage and they're a totally different side, so I can't really comment on what they're going to be like. This time round, only from what I saw in the video, so I'm just looking forward to playing against them."

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