ICONIC… Declan Devine believes that Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe can become an icon at Derry City.
Declan Devine admits he would ‘walk to Colchester’ to bring Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe back to Derry City if the forward became available.
The Candystripes are currently light in attacking options ahead of next season and whilst the return of top goalscorer David Parkhouse is highly unlikely, the future of Golden Boot winner Junior has not yet been determined.
The 25-year old hit 16 goals for City last season and chipped in with 9 assists before returning to Colchester United upon the conclusion of his loan deal. Junior now has six months left on his Colchester contract and is currently assessing his options, although he did admit to the Derry News just a few weeks ago that he considered Derry ‘a second home’.
Devine is hoping that Junior continues to think that and is desperately hoping that he will return to the Brandywell, insisting he can become a huge figure at Derry over the next few years.
“We’re desperate to get Junior back,” he admitted. “He’s a player I’ve loved working with and he was another huge cog in our machine last year. I would love to get him back. If he became available I would absolutely love to have him and I’d love to have him here for a couple of years.
“I would love him to be the iconic figure that he is again for us because he is an in conic figure in Derry.
“Everybody talks about him and he’s a special person as well. He really bought into the whole ethos of the club and if he became available I would walk across to Colchester to sign him.”
Devine is more realistic however about the prospects of David Parkhouse coming back to his home town club.
The 20-year old scored 19 goals and provided 5 assists in his first season at the Brandywell but has returned to parent club Sheffield United where, like Junior, he is deciding his next move. Devine admits that Derry City is an unlikely option.
“I’d love to have Parky back as well but we have to be realistic,” he stated.
“The boy is 20 and he scored a lot of goals last year. I was charting to him last week just as a friend and he’s in training with Sheffield United’s first team which is absolutely brilliant. Boston United and Tamworth didn’t want him this time last year and now he’s in training with a team sitting fifth in the Premier League doing really well by all accounts and having fun there. You couldn’t have written that this time last year. He’s been a huge part of our year but at the same time we have to be realistic. Is he really going to come back to Ireland? I don’t think so.”
Meanwhile, Devine is delighted with his midfield options ahead of the new campaign having brought Conor McCormack back to the club on a two-year deal earlier this week.
“We’ve signed three established players and three high-profile players but the pleasing thing for me was that they all wanted to come to the club,” he explained. “It was so easy to bring Conor to the club. He was willing to come here, there’s European football and he wants to challenge at the top. That remains to be seen but at the same time, filling your squad with that high quality player that is key to us,
“Last year we had 14 players who picked themselves throughout the season, but this year we have to have more depth and high levels of quality throughout the group. There’s a lot of quality in the squad now.”
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