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Success, according to Derry City defender Mark Connolly, is built on stability.

Since Ruaidhrí Higgins assumed leadership in April 2021, Derry City has experienced stability, and the City manager has progressively assembled his team, adding just two new players to the class of 2024.

Derry has started the season strong and is going into their match against Bohemians tonight with an undefeated record and 11 out of a possible 15 points. This is no coincidence.

On the other hand, Bohemians enter tonight’s match fresh off two losses and having fired manager Declan Devine just four games into the campaign. This is despite the Creggan native being compelled to make a number of new recruits in the last days of the transfer window.

Derry City defender Mark Connolly in action against Shamrock Rovers.
Mark Connolly, defender for Derry City, during a game versus Shamrock Rovers.

 

Thank goodness, we’ve been able to accomplish that at the club. With any luck, we can continue to grow over the next three or four years and establish ourselves as a major football team in the league.

After Devine’s departure midweek, Connolly anticipates a response from the Bohemians players, but he also thinks that if things aren’t working as planned on the field, the players need to accept responsibility.

The defender stated that there is a lot of switching and chopping in the early part of the season and that occasionally the clubs are troubled by the commotion surrounding the situation.

“Managers must hold their positions for longer periods of time in order to imprint their ideas and goals if they hope to see teams advance and remain in the Premier Division.

“It goes without saying that every manager has different ideas for various players, and it would never work if you bring in a ton of different players every season or every other season. It’s unfortunate, and Decky [Devine] is definitely a Derry man. I’ve only seen him once, when we played against each other, and he looks like a kind, humble guy, but I have no doubt that he will be back to work very soon.

“It’s sad to see someone in football lose their job, but I do believe managers and coaches should be given time and support from whoever is in charge behind the scenes.

Additionally, players must accept responsibility for their actions when something doesn’t work out.”

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