Belfast Telegraph

Derry City relying on Devine intervention

By Peter Hutcheon

Declan Devine is stepping into the Brandywell hot-seat vacated by his mentor Stephen Kenny.

Devine, Kenny’s loyal number two at Derry City, was last night named as his successor after the Dubliner’s departure last month to take over at Shamrock Rovers.

The 39-year-old has signed a two-year contract and has named another former Candystripes player Paul Hegarty as his assistant.

The former Derry keeper admitted he had big shoes to fill, but he was looking forward to the exciting challenge.

“It’s a big step up but it’s one that I am confident that I can do,” he said.

“I’ve worked very closely with Stephen Kenny who has obviously had a very successful career.

“I’ve learned a lot of things from Stephen over the years.

“To be totally honest I wouldn’t have put myself into this position if I didn’t feel I could do the job so I am looking forward to it.”

Devine took on the role as Kenny’s assistant at Derry in 2004 and followed him to Scotland when he left to take over at Dunfermline.

The pair returned to the Brandywell three years ago and after seeing the club demoted to the first division for financial irregularities, last year guided them back into Europe last season.

Devine must act quickly to finalise his squad for the new season with a number of high profile departures such as Gareth McGlynn, Stewart Greacen and Eamon Zayed in the close season.

City’s shot-stopper when they lost the 1997 FAI Cup final beat off competition from Willie McStay to land the post.

Stockport County assistant McStay held talks with the club on Tuesday while ex-Sligo Rovers and Bohemians boss Sean Connor was also interviewed for the job along with former Institute and Finn Harps manager Paul Hegarty.

Jim Magilton — who is set to be appointed the Melbourne Victory chief — and current Sligo boss Paul Cook had ruled themselves out of the running to take over from Kenny.

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