Belfast Telegraph

New Derry boss Roddy Collins sets title target

Roddy Collins has set his sights on ending Derry City's 16-year league title famine after the club appointed him as their new manager.

Collins will be officially unveiled by the Candystripes today as the successor to Declan Devine, who departed last month despite qualifying for Europe.

Derry finished fourth in the league this year, but were 15 points adrift of champions St Patrick's Athletic and Collins – who won the league with Bohemians in 2001 – is determined to be challenging for the title in 2014.

"It's brilliant. I'm absolutely over the moon," said Collins after his appointment was confirmed by the club.

"Derry are a top team in the league. They haven't won the title since 1997 and that's shocking for such a big club.

"I'm not going up there to mess around. I'm not interested in just having a job. I want a challenge, and that's a challenge right there – to win the league and that's what I'm setting out to do.

"When you win it or how you win it is another day's work and I won't know about that until I get up to the club, but I know there's a fantastic base of players and a great structure there."

Collins will be joined by Derry City legend Peter Hutton, who returns to the Brandywell as Collins' assistant after a spell as Finn Harps manager.

"I'm delighted to have Peter Hutton coming with me as assistant. He has a great history with the club and he's a good lad," said Collins.

The appointments brings to an end a three-week search for Devine's successor, who left the club following two years in charge.

Collins, who has managed several clubs in the League of Ireland including Shamrock Rovers and Bohemians, led Athlone Town to promotion to the Premier Division just last season before parting ways with the club last month.

Several high profile names had been linked with the job at the Brandywell, including former St Mirren manager Gus MacPherson, ex-Drogheda United boss Mick Cooke and current UCD manager Martin Russell.

Collins, however, has long been favourite to land the job, and speaking last night, Derry City vice-chairman Sean Barrett admitted it was an exciting time for the club.

"It was an exhaustive process, but we made sure we went around all the candidates to make sure we got the proper team for Derry City Football Club and a team which can take the team to the next level," he said.

"Roddy has hunger and enthusiasm and he really wanted to come to Derry City," said Barrett.

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