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Paddy McCourt relishes new Derry City role after earning a big promotion

Stepping up: Paddy McCourt
Stepping up: Paddy McCourt

By Daniel McDonnell

Derry City have promoted Paddy McCourt to a new role of technical director and increased their first-team budget by 30 per cent.

The Candystripes are determined to close the gap between themselves and top dogs Dundalk and Shamrock Rovers, and former Northern Ireland international McCourt has moved up from an academy and recruitment position to a broader brief that gives him responsibility for the club's direction.

"I suppose my new job is to try and take a bit of work away from (manager) Declan (Devine) in terms of contracts, recruiting players and scouting players, which leaves him free to focus on the Friday night match," said McCourt.

Meanwhile, Derry's main backer Philip O'Doherty has confirmed an increase in first-team spending on account of the club's qualification for Europe.

He detailed that it costs £1m per year to run the club and they have the extra burden of VAT payments which don't exist in the south.

However, he feels the time is right to push on and become more competitive.

"We are taking a bit of a gamble, but we are hoping we can increase the attendances even more," said the businessman.

"We were fourth last year and I would like to think we can go to second or third this year. It's a competitive budget."

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