Paddy McCourt to retire at season's end to take up Derry City academy post

Mon, Jun 11 2018

McCourt in action for Finn Harps earlier this season. Credit: Geraldine Diver (ETPhotos)

Paddy McCourt has announced he is to retire at the end of the season in order to concentrate on a new role as head of the youth academy with hometown club Derry City.

34-year-old McCourt will oversee the running of the Candystripes' underage League of Ireland sides from under-13 to under-19 level, with each team's coach reporting to him.

The Finn Harps magician will take up the post at the Brandywell in mid-September but will continue to line out for his club until his contract expires at the end of their First Division campaign.

That could be as late as November 7th should Ollie Horgan's side reach the promotion/relegation play-off final and one of the competing clubs makes the FAI Cup final.

McCourt enjoyed a fruitful spell with Derry City between 2005 and 2008 after signing from Shamrock Rovers, and went on to join Celtic for a six-figure fee.

Now, the Derryman will be tasked with monitoring an underage system whose most recent success story was Ronan Curtis, who officially signed for Portsmouth last week.

"I'm really happy to be coming back to Derry City and in particular to have the opportunity to oversee this new development programme,” McCourt told the club's media team.

"The club has identified an area where they feel more work is needed to secure the future of the younger players as they come through the ranks and it is a challenge I am relishing."

"It looks like there will be plenty of work ahead so I have notified Finn Harps that I will be retiring when my current contract is up to concentrate fully on this role.”

City spokesman Sean Barrett added: "We are delighted to be bringing someone of Paddy McCourt's stature into this role.

“He is a local guy who has graced football's biggest stages and he will hopefully inspire our young boys and girls to reach for the heights that he has."