Belfast Telegraph

No loan move for Kelly says Robertson

By Colin Speer

Derry City manager John Robertson has quashed rumours that Darren Kelly will be loaned to Portadown, or any other club.

Robertson stated the only way the big centre-back leaves Brandywell is if both he and the Derry agree terms with a club.

"We stated six weeks ago that Darren will not be going anywhere or to anyone on loan and he was told that when I first met him," said Robertson.

"We have had Scottish clubs ringing over enquiring could they bring him on loan, but we have said no.

"The reason being that we don't want Darren going away on loan for six months and then come back in January and everything starts again, in regards to where he's going and what he's doing.

"If a club means our valuation of him then if he so wishes he can go, but if they don't reach that valuation then by August 31st, Darren Kelly will just have to get his head down and get on playing with Derry City FC, who he's under contract with and pay his wages.

"He spent a week at Kilmarnock and Dundee United, while Inverness Caledonian Thistle have made a bid, which was accepted by the club.

"However they have lost their manager and they are waiting to see what their new manager wants to do, but they have also said that they still might go ahead and sign Darren on my recommendation."

Incidentally the ex-Hearts manager, also confirmed that like Kelly's proposed loan move to Shamrock Park, his expected return to Caley Thistle is merely speculation and also confessed that he was taking some good-humoured flack at training from his players.

"There is nothing anyone can do about speculation, but no one has directly contacted me from Inverness.

" I was asked by Jim Roddy had I heard anything and I told him I didn't but I won't expect to, knowing the way Inverness work, but football and the media is a big rumour mill.

"Inverness may well have their new manager in mind.

"And it might be a conventional smoke screen for people to think that it maybe Craig Brewster, or myself, or someone else who has worked for the club, so that they can get the man they really want and keep the media of their backs.

"I have fought fire, with fire with the players.

"Whenever they have been giving me flack, I have been winding them up by saying, 'if I get any more cheek from you, then you won't be coming with me, that's for sure'," laughed Robertson.

The Derry boss also confirmed that Peter Hutton, Sean Hargan, Eddie McCallion and Kevin McHugh have all agreed terms on new contracts, while they are close to sorting out a new deal with midfielder Ciaran Martyn.

"Peter, Sean, Eddie and Kevin have all agreed to sign new deals, while we are very, very close in getting Ciaran tied up," added the City boss.

"While I'm still waiting on replies from Ken Oman and Barry Molloy, who we have put out good contracts to but we'll have to wait and see.

"Both players know how much everyone at the club, from myself, to players, board members and supporters, wants them to stay, but we know they have a tough decision to make."

On the pitch the Brandywell men host Bray Wanderers later this evening and will be without Paddy McCourt, Hargan and McCallion, but Molloy returns from suspension.


From Belfast Telegraph