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Ruaidhri Higgins leaves Ireland role to take charge of Derry City

The Candystripes have moved swiftly to fill the vacancy left by Declan Devine.

Updated Apr 23rd 2021, 10:15 AM

DERRY CITY HAVE announced Ruaidhri Higgins as their new manager, less than 24 hours after the departure of Declan Devine.

ruaidhri-higgins Ruaidhrí Higgins began his League of Ireland coaching journey at Dundalk. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Higgins, the Republic of Ireland’s chief scout and a former player at the Brandywell, emerged as the frontrunner for the position yesterday and the Candystripes have moved swiftly to fill the vacancy.

“Derry City FC have appointed Ruaidhrí Higgins as first-team manager on a three-and-a-half-year contract,” the club said in a statement this morning.

“We would like to put on record our thanks to Jonathan Hill, FAI CEO, and Stephen Kenny, first-team manager of the Republic of Ireland, in granting permission for us to speak to Ruaidhrí.

“We hope our fans will get behind the new management team as we face Sligo Rovers on Saturday evening.”

This comes as 36-year-old Higgins’ first job as a first-team manager. He spent nine seasons at the club as a player, lining out under Kenny during his first of two spells there.

The Limavady native also played for Dundalk, Bohemians and Coleraine, having come through the youth ranks at Coventry City and appeared twice for the Northern Ireland U21s.

Kenny then brought Higgins on board in a coaching capacity at Dundalk, giving him his first break as an opposition analyst. He eventually took the role of assistant coach at the Lilywhites under Vinny Perth, before Kenny recruited him for the Boys In Green.

As Higgins departs his role with Ireland, Kenny said: “I want to wish Ruaidhri the best of luck managing Derry City. He has a very bright future in the game and he’ll be delighted to manage his hometown club that he played with for nine seasons, and we wish him well.”

Higgins’ first task at Derry comes as the Candystripes look for their first win of the season against high-flying Sligo Rovers tomorrow. With just two points from their opening six games, Derry are rock-bottom of the SSE Airtricity Premier Division. 

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“Ruaidhri is a very proud Derry man and a former player with the club so this is the one job in football he couldn’t refuse,” said Jonathan Hill. “We wish him the best of luck with the new position and thank him for his services to the senior Ireland team.”

FAI president Gerry McAnaney added: “On behalf of the board, I want to thank Ruaidhri for his time with us. A valued member of Stephen’s backroom team, I have no doubt he will enjoy this new job with Derry City and I wish them great success together.” 

Screenshot 2020-11-24 at 9.04.07 AM

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Emma Duffy

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