Declan Devine urges people of Derry to 'look after each other' during covid-19 crisis

Wed, Mar 25 2020

Devine paid tribute to frontline healthcare workers as they put themselves at risk to manage the crisis. Credit: John-Paul McGinley (ETPhotos)

Derry City manager Declan Devine has urged the people of the maiden city to look after one another in the wake of the Coronavirus crisis.

The 46-year-old paid tribute to frontline healthcare workers and those working in ‘essential business,’ including many fans of the club, for their sacrifices during the ongoing emergency.

Devine said the city ‘has come through huge challenges and it will come through this one’ and urged supporters to stick together in this time of crisis.

The club – like all others in the League of Ireland – have suspended all collective training until at least April 19th and those from outside the city have been allowed to return home.

Players continue to be have their training regimens managed remotely by club management and fitness coaches in preparation for the eventual return of competitive football.

“I just wanted to touch base with the club’s supporters, volunteers and sponsors to wish everyone well in these very testing times,” Devine said in an open letter posted on the club’s website.

“From our perspective I can assure you that the management and medical teams are in daily contact with players and backroom staff, preparing for the day when we can go back to a more regular routine.

“Players from outside of the city have been able to return home while the league suspension remains in place. They will however continue to train under the remote supervision of our coaching and fitness teams.

“I would like to thank our Chairman, Board of Directors and office staff who are continuing to run the club on a daily basis, despite the obvious difficulties.

“The important thing for now is to ensure that we all follow the medical guidance on getting through this virus.

“Derry has always been a city where people look after each other and now, more than ever it is vital that we do so.

“This football club belongs to the whole city. It has come through huge challenges before and it will come through this one.

“Our club has a lot of supporters who work in what is being referred to as ‘essential business’ and we are all extremely grateful to them.

“Obviously, those who are on the front line of this battle, our medical people, are providing an invaluable service and we will find our own way to thank them publicly when this is over.

“In the meantime, please stay safe, and every one of us at this football club is looking forward to getting back to representing our city on the pitch in the not too distant future.”