League of Ireland: Derry handed Harkin contract boost ahead of Rovers game

Ciaron Harkin
Ciaron Harkin joined the Candystripes in January after two years with Coleraine
Airtricity Premier Division - Shamrock Rovers v Derry City
Venue: Tallaght Stadium, Dublin Date: Friday, 22 February Kick-off: 20:00 GMT
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio Foyle and the BBC Sport website

Derry City midfielder Ciaron Harkin has signed a new three-year deal as the Candystripes prepare to meet Shamrock Rovers in Tallaght on Friday night.

City boss Declan Devine has been impressed with 23-year-old, who joined the club from Coleraine last month on a two-year contract.

"Ciaron has been immense since he came here and this a reward," said Devine.

There was also a new arrival on Thursday with French winger Gianni Seraf joining on a one-year deal.

The 24-year-old recently played for Panionios in Greece.

Devine added: "The deal with Ciaron shows our intent. We want to build on what we started with and we want locally-based players who are hungry and dedicated to playing for Derry City.

"I think everyone who was at the Brandywell last Friday night could see how important Ciaron Harkin will be to this team and club moving forward."

Candystripes boss Declan Devine hopes to make it two wins from two games in the Premier Division
Candystripes boss Declan Devine hopes to make it two wins from two games in the Premier Division

Devine hopes to bring in another "attack minded" player before the transfer window close on Friday.

Derry made the perfect start to their league campaign last Friday night with a 3-0 home win over UCD but Devine knows Rovers, who also won their opener, will be a much tougher proposition.

However, the team will travel to Dublin with confidence and determined to be party poopers for the hosts.

"We are trying to build on the momentum from last week but home to UCD and away to Shamrock Rovers are two different ball games," said Devine.

"We are going to have to manage for long periods without the ball and when we do get the ball we must not give it back cheaply.

"Shamrock Rovers are a fantastic side - we know it's a difficult venue to play in and that people are coming there for a bit of a party on Friday night as far as I'm aware.

"Hopefully we can go there and spoil that. We're young, slightly inexperienced compared to Rovers but we have a freshness to the team and we're looking forward to the game."