HE’S had to bide his time to get a chance to play in England and new York City striker David McDaid is keen to get cracking as soon as possible, writes Steve Carroll.
The 22-year-old could be in Gary Mills’ squad today for the visit of Morecambe in League Two, having received international clearance after signing a one-and-a-half year deal from League of Ireland club Derry City and following the agreeing of a compensation package.
McDaid was a useful marksman for the Candywhites, scoring 28 goals in 105 appearances for his hometown club, but, despite admitting it had been hard to leave comfortable pastures, his desire to cross the Irish Sea means he is delighted to have secured his new home at Bootham Crescent.
And his arrival has come thanks to one of City’s League rivals.
“I’ve been trying to get to England for a while,” McDaid said.
“I went to Fleetwood just before Christmas and it went well. I was all ready to sign and the manager got sacked. It all went out of the window.
“The manager just rang me up, out of the blue, and asked if I was interested in signing for York. I am over the moon, to be honest. I’ve always wanted to come to England and play and, hopefully, with a lot of hard work, I’ll play soon enough.
“I loved my time at Derry. It’s my hometown club and it was hard to leave as well. But it’s the Football League, English football, and that is where you want to be. It looks like a step up and I am really looking forward to the new challenge.”
That call was more of a surprise given McDaid hasn’t been in action for some time. City’s reserve clash against Scunthorpe last week was his first competitive outing in more than three months. But, having also competed in City’s midweek defeat at Blackburn reserves, the former Republic of Ireland Under- 19 international reckons he will be ready to go this afternoon if called upon by Mills.
“I had the game against Scunthorpe last week – that was my first game for three-and-a-half months – and I need to get a few games under my belt,” he added.
“I’m a bit rusty at the moment.
But, after the first few games, I should be there.
“I felt a bit more sharp against Blackburn. I’d felt really sluggish against Scunthorpe. But I felt a lot sharper and that was just after one extra game. The more games I play obviously the sharper I will get.
“I definitely want to challenge (for the first team) straight away. I have been brought here to score goals. There’s a bit of pressure but I don’t mind that.”
That challenge not only includes settling into a new country – McDaid will soon be joined in North Yorkshire by his wife and child – but also accepting a likely role as one of the wide-men in Mills’ preferred 4-3-3 formation.
It’s not the position that will cause any difficulty, the striker explained, but the versatility demanded in it.
McDaid explained: “I can play in the three, either left or right, and that’s where I was playing against Blackburn. It’s a variable formation.
You switch around a lot and it will take a few games to get used to that but I am looking forward to the new challenge.”
Like all new signings, McDaid is aiming high as he ponders the table and considers the possibilities for his new club. He admits there will be a step-up in standards from the Irish to the English game but insists he has the confidence and the ability to meet that necessary improvement head on.
“It has to be the play-offs,”
McDaid said of his short-term ambitions for his new club. “I was looking at the League and we are only six points off the play-offs. If we can get some results then hopefully things will go well.
“Last year, I scored 18 goals and I was playing on the right and the left. If things go well, I will score a few goals. I am expecting it to be a lot tougher to be honest. It is a tough league.
“In teams in England, the players look to be a bit more technical.
“But I feel confident. I felt that I would need two or three games and I have already had two.”
And might he play today?
“I don’t mind,” he said. “It’s the manager’s decision. I think I am ready to play and it would be great.
I’ve seen the ground, trained on it three or four times, and I can’t wait to step out on to it for a competitive game.”
January a-jumping for high-flier Potts
MICHAEL Potts has won The Press Player of the Month award for January.
The former Blackburn Rovers reserve finished one point ahead of nearest rival Michael Ingham to take the honours.
Ingham won a point in the final game of the month as our third-highest rated player during last weekend’s 1-1 draw at Gillingham.
The other points for that match went to man-of-thematch Paddy McLaughlin (three) and debutant Jack O’Connell (two).
Ingham, meanwhile, shared the two Player of the Month bonus points on offer after he and McLaughlin received the most man-ofthe- match votes from visitors to our website.
To be in with a chance of presenting February’s Player of the Month with their award – a framed photograph – before a City home game, please send us your man-of-the-match choice for today’s game against Morecambe by visiting.
Alternatively, you can tweet your selection to @daveflettpress
The Press Player of the Year latest standings (not including Player of the Month bonus points): C Smith 25 points, Parslow 21, Ingham 19, Blair 17, Walker 15, Chambers 14, Fyfield 14, Kearns 12, McGurk 9, Kerr 8, Coulson 7, Oyebanjo 7, McLaughlin 6, Potts 6, Carlisle 5, J Smith 5, Doig 3, Reed 3, Blanchett 2, O’Connell 2, Taylor 2, Challinor 1, Johnson 1.
The Press Player of the Month for January standings: Potts 8, Ingham 7, McGurk 6, C Smith 6, McLaughlin 5, Blair 3, Kerr 2, O’Connell 2, Parslow 1.
Goals: Chambers 8, Walker 8, Blair 5, Coulson 5, McLaughlin 4, Reed 4, Potts 3, own goals 2, Parslow 1, Rodman 1, C Smith 1.
Assists: Walker 7, Chambers 5, J Smith 5, Blair 4, Kearns 3, McLaughlin 3, C Smith 3, Carlisle 2, Coulson 2, Parslow 2, Rodman 2, Challinor 1, Fyfield 1, Kerr 1, Reed 1.
Bad boys: Chambers, C Smith both 4 yellow cards; Kerr 1 red, 2 yellow; Fyfield 3 yellow; Ingham, McLaughlin, Parslow, Potts all 2 yellow; Carlisle, Challinor, Coulson, Doig, Johnson, McGurk, Oyebanjo, J Smith, Walker all 1 yellow.