Derry boss Dykes looks outward for strength

Derry City boss Gavin Dykes has left for Glasgow and Sheffield in his bid to strengthen his squad, amid rumours of a possible swoop for last season’s First Division top scorer Alan Murphy.

Derry City boss Gavin Dykes has left for Glasgow and Sheffield in his bid to strengthen his squad, amid rumours of a possible swoop for last season’s First Division top scorer Alan Murphy.

Having already signed goalkeeper Kieran Kelly (Sligo Rovers) and defender Damien Brennan (Kildare County), Dykes has set his sights on adding a striker and Galway United’s Murphy, who scored 21 league goals last season, has remained in contact with the Derry manager throughout Christmas, with a meeting between the two expected this week.

Bohemians Fergal Harkin is also a target for Dykes and if tempted, the midfielder will become the fourth player in recent days to leave the Gypsies, following the exits of John Lester (Drogheda United), Willie Doyle (UCD) and coach Liam O’Brien.

Harkin, who is currently recovering from a knee operation, might be asked to leave to help alleviate spiralling running costs at Dalymount Park, with rumours also rife of a return to MSL side New England Revolution for veteran striker Paul Keegan. Good news for the former champions has come with the news of a successful recovery from Achilles injuries for defender Colin Hawkins and midfielder Paul McNally.

Old hands Jim Gannon and Stephen Geoghegan are currently on the transfer market following a five-player clear out by champions Shelbourne. Manager Pat Fenlon released out-of-contract Richie Baker, who will trial with MSL clubs in America, older brother Dessie, former skipper Gannon, Geoghegan and Scottish goalkeeper Chris Bennion.

With just over three months to the new season, Fenlon has struck early in the market with the signings of Shamrock Rovers striker Glen Fitzpatrick and midfielders Alan Cawley, from UCD and Ciaran Martyn from Derry.

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