Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 1 October 2014

Declan Devine departs Derry City hotseat

Exit door: Declan Devine has left his position as manager of Derry City

Derry City have parted company with manager Declan Devine after two years in charge at the Brandywell.

The 40-year-old Creggan man met with chairman Philip O'Doherty yesterday and came to an agreement to end his association with the club.

A statement released on Derry City's official website last night by O'Doherty announced Devine's departure.

The statement read: "Derry City FC Board of Directors wish to announce that Declan Devine has parted company with the club by mutual consent.

"The club wish Declan well for the future and thank him for his contribution over the years."

Devine's last game in charge was Friday night's 6-0 demolition of Limerick, after which he expressed his hope that he could stay on next season as manager, but that will not be the case.

Devine was promoted from assistant manager in 2011 following the departure of Stephen Kenny to Shamrock Rovers.

In his first season in charge Devine led the club to its fifth FAI Cup triumph, following a dramatic extra-time victory over St. Patrick's Athletic at the Aviva Stadium

That success ensured European football for the Brandywell club this year, which saw them paired with Turkish giants Trabzonspor.

Although City eventually lost 7-2 to the Turkish millionaires, the City players and Devine received praised for their performances over two legs.

The first few months of the 2013 season were impressive as Derry City surged to the top of the League of Ireland and were the top scorers with a nucleus of young, local Derry men leading the charge.

Hopes of a title challenge faded dramatically following their European exit, with Derry winning just four of 18 games in all competitions.

That meant they finished without a trophy for the first time in four seasons, although a late rally in the league meant that City finished in fourth place, ahead of Shamrock Rovers.

That means that should Sligo Rovers defeat Drogheda United in next week's FAI Cup Final, Derry City will qualify for Europa League football once again.

Roddy Collins has been tipped as the frontrunner for the vacant position.

The former Shamrock Rovers and Monaghan United manager recently led Athlone Town to promotion from the First Division and is believed to be interested in taking over at the Brandywell.

Other names linked with the job are former Kilmarnock manager Kenny Shiels and Stockport assistant boss Willie McStay, who came close to landing the Derry job two years ago.

With so many players out of contract and rivals sure to begin strengthening for next season in the next few weeks, a new manager will have to be in place shortly.

Devine's final words as Derry City manager indicated that he was looking ahead to the work which was to be done in the close season.

"There's a lot of players futures in the air now," he said.

"Players contracts are up, but over the next few days we'll have a clearer picture of what's going on.

"I do think we need to strengthen our experience. There's definitely experienced players that need to be brought to the club, but I'm delighted for the young players. I said when I took over as manager that I would give young players opportunities and I'm delighted that they've all stepped up to the mark."

* LARNE expect to name a new interim manager as soon as possible following Graham McConnell's resignation.

Friday's 4-0 loss to Ballyclare Comrades left Larne two points off the bottom of Belfast Telegraph Championship 1

In a short statement, the club confirmed McConnell's decision to step aside for personal reasons before adding: "We wish Graham all the best and hope he will be involved in some capacity at Larne Football Club in the future."

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