Walter Figueira was 'one of our top targets' insists Derry City boss
DECLAN DEVINE has expressed his delight after capturing one of his top close season targets in forward, Walter Figueira.
The Derry City manager believes the versatile former Chelsea youngster will excite the Brandywell fans and claimed the player was the perfect fit for the club.
"I'm delighted to welcome Walter to the club," said Devine. "He's been someone we've been very keen to bring to the club for a while.
"He made his debut against Derry City months ago at the Brandywell and from that moment, when I first laid eyes on him, he was one of my main targets.
"He's potentially a very good Derry City player with all his attributes. I think he'll be exciting for our fans. He will be a very positive player for us in terms of the way we play. I'm really looking forward to working with him. He's a top player," he added.
Derry pipped various Scottish Premier League clubs and League of Ireland teams to Figueira's signature and Devine reckons the Candy Stripes are a 'very positive proposition' for players ahead of the 2020 campaign which sees them compete in the Europa League qualifying stages.
"Our form and the way the support has got behind us at this football club makes Derry City a very positive proposition for any player," he said. "But we're just delighted to have a top, top player coming to the club."
With winger, Darren McCauley announcing his departure at the weekend and the league's top scorer, Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe deliberating over his future, the arrival of Figueira will certainly appease the City supporters.
And Devine has predicted the Londoner, who signed a one year deal, will bring lots of energy and attacking flair.
"As I said in the past about other players, he has the potential to enhance us as a group," he said. "At the same time you have to make sure it's the right fit. I think it's the perfect fit.
"He's a fantastic professional. He's a goal scoring threat and a player that our supporters will really take to. He gives us versatility but also enormous penetration in terms of being able to unlock defences. He can play in a host of positions in my opinion anywhere along the front three and also as a No. 10.
"I've seen him play five or six times this year and he's played in a number of different roles. His versatility is a huge factor but he's also someone we want to get the best out of. His energy, his professionalism and appetite for the game has been very heart-warming for us all whenever we sat down and spoke.
"He's a very mature player for his age. He can lead in the changing room, lead on the pitch but ultimately he wants to strive to get better and we want to help him on his journey."
Devine and his backroom team will continue to build ahead of next season but, following the signings of last season's first choice keeper, Peter Cherrie and now Figueira, he's delighted to be in a lot healthier position than when he took the reigns last November.
"Walter is a fantastic addition. You just have to look back 12 months we were sitting with four players and would never have been able to attract Walter to this football club 12 months ago.
"The success of the players we've had at the club and the successes of the season gave us a platform to build on and I certainly think we will be stronger with Walter Figueira in our squad leading into 2020."