Derry City are delighted to confirm the arrival of Ciaron Harkin, Patrick McClean and David Parkhouse to the Brandywell.
The trio were officially unveiled at a press conference at the stadium today with manager Declan Devine delighted to be adding more local flavour to his squad.
“The pieces of the jigsaw are coming together and I’m delighted to be adding three more Derry men to the squad this afternoon.”
Patrick McClean returns to the club for a second spell, having spent time with both Waterford and Sligo Rovers since leaving Brandywell.
McClean came through the team’s youth set-up, playing with City’s U-19s before making the move to the first team.
The 22-year-old made his breakthrough for the Candystripes in 2015 and 2016 before leaving for the RSC and a spell with Waterford United where he captained them to the First Division title.
Patrick spent last season with Sligo Rovers, making over 30 appearances for the Bit O’Red. McClean can play at left back or centre half and will provide defensive cover for the Candystripes, who are looking to stem the flow which saw them concede a record number of goals in the 2018 season.
It had been widely tipped that McClean would return to Brandywell for the 2019 campaign and Declan Devine was very clear that:
“Patrick McClean knows the league really well and is a great signing for us”.
Ciaron “Jackie” Harkin
Ciaron Harkin is another player that developed in the City underage setup, before leaving to get first team experience elsewhere.
Ciaron (nicknamed “Jackie”) is also 22-years-old and joins on a two year contract to bolster the City ranks for the coming season. Harkin joins from Coleraine on a swap deal, with Ben Doherty heading the other way.
Harkin made a single appearance for City in the 2015 season, before leaving for neighbouring Institute FC. Harkin was a key figure for ‘Stute before the lure of top flight football saw him join Coleraine in the January window of the 2016/17 season.
He has been a key figure for the Bannsiders, appearing 36 times last season as they were pipped to the title but picked up the Irish Cup. This season Harkin has continued to be a key part of the Coleraine midfield, appearing 23 times prior to today.
Harkin has been a regular attendee at City games since his departure and Devine alluded to his affinity to his home town club when he noted:
“Ciaron Harkin is a quality midfielder who has shown a real willingness to come to the club”.
The third Candystripe addition is David Parkhouse. The teenage striker is on the books of Sheffield United and joins City on a six month loan deal. Parkhouse payed for local club, Maiden City Academy before moving to the Blades.
The striker has been capped at U-21 level for Northern Ireland, and has been on loan to Boston United since October.
The youngster is well known to the management team with his time in the Northern Irish set up:
“David Parkhouse is a teenage striker who has been part of the Sheffield United set-up for a couple of years now. He has also been in the Northern Ireland underage panels and we believe he is an exciting prospect. David is joining us on a 6-month loan deal.”
Devine agreed that it has been a busy couple of weeks as he seeks to reshape the City panel for 2019.
With pre-season training due to get underway tomorrow, Devine will be able to get his squad together for the first time and start to plan for the season ahead.
“We have had very little time off over Christmas and New Year as the work continues to build our squad. Today’s signings brings us up to 15 as we head into the start of pre-season tomorrow.”
“There will however be no let-up on our part to add more quality to the existing panel and I’d expect more news on that front in the coming weeks.”
The club office reopens tomorrow (Thu 3rd Jan) from 10am-2pm in the Brandywell for those wishing to purchase season tickets.