The Insider: Pompey target has potential to play in Championship

Derry City winger Ronan Curtis. Picture: Lorcan Doherty/Presseye.com
Derry City winger Ronan Curtis. Picture: Lorcan Doherty/Presseye.com
Conor Chaplin scored a late consolation goal for Pompey Picture: Joe Pepler

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We spoke to sports reporter Simon Collins, from the Derry Journal, who gave us the insider track on Pompey-linked Ronan Curtis.

Derry City boss Kenny Shiels would tend to play him on the left-hand side of a three-man attack.

He has plenty of pace and is a big, strong lad.

Curtis is also decent with both feet and his improvement has been fantastic this season.

He’s broken into the Republic of Ireland under-21 squad and is highly-rated.

Curtis was over at Ostersunds, in Sweden, at the end of last season but he didn’t move because of the wages he was offered – they weren’t much better than what he’s on at Derry.

But he is a quality. From the tail end of last campaign and the start of this term he’s really got his head down and has come on leaps and bounds.

Curtis has always had a lot of potential.

He started off as an out-and-out striker. But since Shiels has come on board as Derry boss he’s really taken Curtis under his wing and improved him as a player in his three seasons as manager at the Brandywell.

He’s definitely one of the better prospects currently in the team.

It was a bit of a surprise he was called up to the Ireland under-21s squad. There’s not a lot of home-grown players who get called up – especially at under-21 level.

For a long time, Curtis was the only one who was called up from the League of Ireland by manager Noel King.

There’s now three from Derry in the under-21 side, but Curtis was the one who broke the mould.

He starts every game and is one of King’s better prospects, definitely, and there are hopes he can become a full international given the rate of his improvement.

I also think a move away would benefit him.

Meanwhile, he’s the type of guy who doesn’t shirk away from a challenge.

The League of Ireland has improved dramatically in the past few years.

It’s a lot more technical than people would think and there seems to be a lot of players from England coming over on loan who have been playing under-23 and under-21 football.

There are lads coming over from Charlton and Birmingham because it’s more technical and physical than what they’re used to.

So I think League One would be around Curtis’ standard at this moment in time.

And he definitely has the potential to make the standard in the Championship in the future, without a doubt.