Derry City have announced that their former player and indeed former manager Declan Devine will once again take charge at the Brandywell. He was announced as the club’s new manager. Devine has spent most of his career involved with his hometown club. He played for the club, was a first-team coach, assistant manager and then manager from 2012-2014 during which time he won the FAI Cup. He parted ways with the club at the end of the 2013 season even though he had led them to European qualification, he has remained a popular figure amongst supporters and was most recently involved in the under-age set-up with Northern Ireland. He will be assisted by Kevin Deery and Marty McCann.
Bohs continue to be active on and off the pitch this offseason. They announced during the week that their experienced keeper Shane Supple has had to retire due to a persistent hip injury. A devastating blow for both the club and player as Supple was in the form of his life having been voted into the PFAI Team of the Year whilst also was called up to a couple of international squads by Martin O’Neill. The Dalymount Park club were quick to sign a replacement bringing in James Talbot who was most recently with Sunderland and has represented Ireland up to U-19 level. They also signed former Wolves midfielder Conor Levingston who like Talbot has represented Ireland up to U-19 level.
Noel Hunt’s brief spell with his hometown club Waterford came to an end during the week as the former Republic of Ireland international left to take a role as assistant manager to Richie Wellens at Swindon Town. He will be hard replaced as he had a big impact on and off the pitch.
Another side who have been very active in the early weeks of the close season are First Division side Shelbourne FC. They made two strong additions in bringing in midfielders Conan Byrne and Oscar Brennan who were both playing last season in the Premier Division with St. Patrick’s Athletic and Bohemian FC respectively. Byrne is a great signing for Shels having previously played with the club before in 2011 he brings a wealth of experience having won every major honour in the league during his time in Richmond Park with St. Pat’s.
Have to send best wishes to former Sligo Rovers goalkeeper Richard Brush who had a major scare last week. Now playing with Cliftonville in the Danske Bank Premiership he took ill when he was driving home after their game against Newry last Monday. Thankfully he was taken to a hospital in time as he suffered a stroke and while no doubt he got a huge scare he is recovering fast and is now back at home. Mind yourself Brushie!