Derry City's latest signing Micheál Glynn (Pic: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile)
Derry City's latest signing Micheál Glynn is focussed on keeping his head down and learning from the experienced players in the squad ahead of the new season.
The Fermanagh teenager signed from Irish Premiership side Ballinamallard until Thursday, July 1 and has played in all three of the Candystripes' warm-up games so far.
Glynn, who is in the first year of his Environmental Planning course at Queen's University Belfast, has played under Declan Devine in the IFA's Club NI developmental pathway.
In his early days, Micheál played for Enniskillen Rangers before moving to Ballinamallard for the next six years, including two in the first team and being part of the squad beaten by Crusaders in the 2019 Irish Cup Final.
“I was on the bench and disappointed not to get on, but nothing I can do,” Glynn points out.
“I was playing soccer up to U16 with Club NI and Northern Ireland U17s in the Euros. Whenever I got in to do my A-Levels, I didn't have as much time for soccer.”
He is also a talented Gaelic footballer. His attacking prowess helped his school St Michael's Enniskillen to prestigious MacRory and Hogan Cup titles in 2019. It attracted the attention of Fermanagh senior manager Ryan McMenamin, but Glynn turned down offers to join up with the Erne squad to concentrate on his soccer career.
“Declan got in contact with Ballinamallard manager Harry McConkey and I had worked with Declan through the IFA's Club NI system for a couple of years at U15 and U16,” Glynn told The Derry News.
“When he heard the Ballinamallard season was null and voided, he gave Harry a call to see if I would be interested in giving it a go until July. It was an open offer, so I couldn't turn it down and in July, Derry can either offer me a contact full time or I can go back to Ballinamallard.”
Glynn joins other signings Marc Walsh, Will Patching, William Fitzgerald and Joe Hodge ahead of Derry's league opener, away to Longford next Saturday.
Just three days after his arrival at the Brandywell, Glynn played 20 minutes in the first game, a goalless draw against Bray, followed by another 20 minutes in a 1-1 draw with Finn Harps and half an hour last Sunday against Bohemians, another game ending goalless.
“I have been training nearly every day, as much as I can. I'm trying to get the minutes in because it's been a while since I have played soccer,” points out Glynn, who hasn't featured since Ballinamallard's pre-season.
“At the minute, I am enjoying it and it's going well so far,” he adds. At the minute, it involves a 130-mile round trip from his home in Derrygonnelly.
“The team are training four mornings a week and I'm in for all of them, it changes every week with the friendlies. I am in no set routine, but hopefully when the season starts I'll get into a routine and be more settled.”
Glynn speaks of the 'buzz' in the Derry camp, with the hopes of getting their season off to a winning start against Longford, who were promoted from the First Division after a 1-0 win over Shelbourne last season.
“It's exciting, there is good hunger in the squad to succeed,” Glynn said of his progress so far. “I have played with a few of the lads before and they have been great and very welcoming.
“It is a very young squad, there are a few lads who have been there and done that and they are setting a great example. Declan has been telling us to learn from them as best as you possibly can.”
“For now, it is a matter of keeping pushing, keep the head down in training every day and see what comes of it. Hopefully things go well.”
Derry lost 1-0 at Dundalk in last season's opener and chase a first winning start since their 3-0 win at home to UCD in 2019. In the last 10 seasons, the Candystripes have won their first game on four occasions, drew 1-1 with Shamrock Rovers in 2014 and last the other five.
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