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I couldn't reject Derry, admits new boss Kenny Shiels

By Stuart McKinley

Published 06/11/2015

New Derry City manager Kenny Shiels
New Derry City manager Kenny Shiels

Kenny Shiels has described the opportunity to return to full-time football with Derry City as one that was "too good to turn down".

His appointment as new manager at the Brandywell has also left Glentoran having to look at other options after he appeared to be the favourite to succeed Eddie Patterson at The Oval.

Instead, Shiels will now try to revive the fortunes of the Candystripes, whose demanding fans haven't seen trophy success since an FAI Cup victory in 2012.

Indeed, the last couple of seasons have been more about survival in the Airtricity League Premier Division, Derry finishing a creditable seventh in the campaign just finished after a run of four wins and a draw late in the season with Paul Hegarty in caretaker charge after the sacking of Peter Hutton.

Shiels, who won the Scottish League Cup during a two-season spell with Kilmarnock from 2011-13, during which he had repeated run-ins with the Scottish Football authorities due to his outspoken nature, is confident that he can return Derry City to the force they were during the 1990s, when they won everything going.

"I am glad to be back in management," said Shiels, who also managed Carrick Rangers, Coleraine, Ballymena United and Larne before joining Kilmarnock as assistant to Mixu Paatelainen, before taking the top job.

"It is a full-time post and that made it too good to turn down.

"I wouldn't say that the club has been starved of success, but there is an expectation level there that has to be met.

"It is a massive city, where everyone is a football fanatic. It is a big club and I believe that I can bring success to the club."

Shiels will start work immediately, with his first task being to decide which of the club's out-of-contract players to retain ahead of the 2016 season, with some of his main stars attracting interest from rival clubs.

Patrick McEleney is currently on trial at Peterborough United. If things don't work out in England he also has offers from Dundalk, St Patrick's Athletic and Sligo Rovers. Club captain Ryan McBride is wanted by Shamrock Rovers, while Mark Timlin has caught the interest of several League of Ireland teams.

"We don't have a competitive game until March, which is frustrating. I would love to get started straight away, but there is a lot of work to do," said Shiels, who most recently was in charge of Tero Sasana in Thailand.

GERARD Lyttle will look to continue his unbeaten league run as Cliftonville manager when the Reds face Warrenpoint Town in the Danske Bank Premiership at Solitude tonight (7.45pm kick-off).

Coleraine goalkeeper Michael Doherty has been named as Premiership Player of the Month for October.

Belfast Telegraph

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