| 2.2°C Belfast

I'll draw inspiration from my former Derry skippers: Toal


Declan Devine

Declan Devine

�INPHO/Laszlo Geczo

Declan Devine

Eoin Toal says he will learn from his predecessors after being named the new Derry City captain.

The 21-year-old has been chosen to replace Conor McCormack, who recently departed the Brandywell for First Division side Galway United, with Toal the popular choice among his peers and the club's fans.

Toal, entering his fifth season as a Derry City player, was signed for the club by Kenny Shiels in 2017 and has since become a mainstay, growing in maturity and stature and missing just one game in two seasons under Declan Devine. He will lead Derry out for the first time in the opening league game of the new season on Saturday, March 20.

"I'm absolutely delighted to be captain of this club," he said.

"It's a big club and it's a proud, proud moment for me and my family. I didn't really know it was coming until a week or two ago. It had been mentioned briefly but I didn't pay any attention to it. It was something I always wanted to do. I always wanted to be captain and I'm happy that I've been chosen, but it's a responsibility and hopefully I can adjust to it well and I can lead people."

In his time at the club, Toal has worked with captains Gerard Doherty, Barry McNamee and McCormack, and he is determined to take a lesson from each experience as he dons the skipper's armband for the first time.

"They are all great captains and good people as well, and I can only learn from people like that and take wee bits from them to help improve myself," he explained.

"I'm not going to change the person I am. I'm always going to be the same person, but there's definitely more weight on my shoulders, maybe more for the younger boys coming through who might look up to me, so I have to make sure I'm doing everything right and that I'm as professional as I can be. All I can do is do my best."

Manager Devine said he had no hesitation in handing the responsibility to his talented central defender at the start of his fifth year at the Brandywell.

"Eoin is a fantastic lad who is well respected by everyone. He is just 21 but already has loads of experience and knows the club," he said. "We're looking to build a solid young base and Eoin is the right person to lead that."

Belfast Telegraph