NEW MAN IN TOWN… Stephen Mallon has signed on loan from Sheffield United. Pic: Kevin Morrison.
Stephen Mallon is hoping to follow in the path of David Parkhouse and become a hit at Derry City.
The 20-year-old became the fourth new signing at the Brandywell at the weekend, joining from Sheffield United on a six-month loan deal, just like Parkhouse did 12 months ago.
The Derry man went on to score 19 goals for his home town club, putting himself in a strong position when he went back to the Blades and Mallon, a friend of the striker at Bramall Lane, is hoping to follow the exact same path as his predecessor. Mallon admitted he consulted Parkhouse about the move before agreeing to move to Derry City.
“He was here last season and the Derry fans will know all about him so he spoke quite highly of the league and said he had a great time here,” he explained.
“When he came back he had put himself into a much better position than he was in before and that’s something that I want to do myself. He came here, he did really well and he’s held in high regard since he’s gone back and that’s something I’ll be look to doing myself.”
Mallon, who can play in a number of positions, can usually be found on the left wing but has also been known to drop into full back comfortably. He spent part of 2019 on loan in Australia’s A-League with the Central Coast Mariners making several first team appearances. The Belfast man has also represented both Northern Ireland and the Republic at international youth levels, and most recently he has featured for Stephen Kenny’s Irish U21 side. Mallon has not played in the League of Ireland before, but he certainly knows all about it.
“I know a lot about the league,” he said. “Being in the international squad you get lads who are still in Ireland all the way through from when I went away with Ireland when I was 17 all the way through to 21. The lads were still at home playing football for their local teams or for a team in the League of Ireland.”
Mallon joins Walter Figueira, Conor Clifford and Connor McCormack as the new faces at the Brandywell this season, and with the new campaign just over a month away from kicking off, the newest addition to the City squad can’t wait to get going.
“It’s a massive opportunity and I just want to take my chance and work hard to get in the team,” he stated. “Even though I’m coming over I know that nothing’s promised so I need to get myself in the team so hopefully I can get myself in the team, stay in the team and do well for the team and hopefully we can get some success this season.”
City boss Declan Devine is confident that he has unearthed another Sheffield United gem, and expects Mallon to enjoy himself at Derry City as much as Parkhouse did in 2019.
“He’s a talented boy and someone I’ve known for a long time,” he explained. “It’s very similar to the Parkhouse situation last year in that it’s a Sheffield United player, a very technical player, a player with flair with a fantastic left foot who can play in midfield or the left wing and can also slot in at left back. He’s a player who gives us versatility, a player who saw the benefits of what David Parkhouse did here last year and he’s a guy who wants to prove himself at the highest level.
“I’m delighted to welcome Stephen to the club because he’s going to be a great addition for us going foraard. He’s an exceptional talent and if he has the same impact that the Sheffield United player had last year then we will be in a very good place.”
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