Why Pompey capture Curtis is in fine company

DERRY CITY is regarded as one of the Republic of Ireland's greatest producers of footballing talent.

Tuesday, 22nd May 2018, 7:30 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 8:42 am
Former Derry City winger James McClean

Now Ronan Curtis has maintained that proud tradition.

The striker’s six-figure switch to Pompey represents a welcome windfall for the SSE Airtricity League side.

The funds are expected to bolster Derry’s push for the top three – and qualification for next season’s Europa League.

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Derry City winger Ronan Curtis Picture: Lorcan Doherty

Curtis is among fine company departing the Brandywell Stadium for the English – and Scottish – games.

The last decade has seen James McClean (Sunderland), Stephen McLaughlin (Nottingham Forest), Paddy McCourt (Celtic) and Niall McGinn (Celtic) seek their fortunes elsewhere.

And according to Derry Journal sports reporter Simon Collins, it continues a profitable policy by the club.

He said: ‘The sale of Curtis is seen as crucial in terms of finances.

‘Derry are bankrolled by Phil O’Doherty, a wealthy businessman, yet gate receipts and transfer fees are required to keep the club going.

‘When an English or Scottish club comes in, you cannot but sell your best players. That has been the trend for a good number of years.

‘Derry have a great tradition of bringing players through and then selling them on, they are one of the most prominent in Ireland for producing young players.

‘It is something they use as a selling point to attract players from different areas. Derry portray themselves as a good platform.

‘There are usually a lot of scouts from English clubs and presently Aaron McEneff is attracting interest from Bristol City and Wigan.

‘He and Curtis are Derry’s outstanding players and you would expect McEneff to be the next one to depart.’

Curtis registered his 100th appearance for the club in Monday night’s 2-0 win over Bray Wanderers.

There remain four more matches before his Pompey switch negotiates the international transfer window.

And Collins reveals the 22-year-old had long set his heart on Fratton Park.

He added: ‘A lot of it was down to the player’s desire to get across to England, he was set in his ways.

‘Curtis was blinkered in a move to Portsmouth and the club accepted it, bearing in mind the substantial fee involved worked for all parties.

‘Manager Kenny Shiels wanted to keep him for another season for his own selfish reasons. Now Derry will reinvest that money and back him in the mid-season transfer window.’