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York City close to landing Derry striker David McDaid
DERRY striker David McDaid will sign for York City subject to the clubs agreeing on a compensation fee for his services.
The 22-year-old forward has impressed Gary Mills during a trial period at Bootham Crescent and has agreed personal terms with the Minstermen chief.
But Martin Devaney, another League of Ireland trialist, will not be signing for City.
On his pursuit of McDaid, Mills said: “I’m a big fan of David McDaid and I’ve agreed terms with him. We are now trying to tie things up with Derry because he’s under 24 so there will be a compensation fee and that’s the stumbling block.
“But I’m doing everything possible to get things sorted and I am 99 per cent confident he will become a York City player. The Irish League finished in November so he’s only been back in pre-season training for a couple of weeks.
“He’s just got to find that sharpness again and I believe he’s a player who will go on in the game. There have been a couple of good Irish players that have come over to the English game in the last few years and I feel he will be another one.
“He’s a striker who can play through the middle or out wide and a good, good player who I think will do well for us.”
Mills added that age will prove no consideration when he decides whether to hand 18-year-old defender Jack O’Connell, signed this week on loan from Blackburn, his full debut in tomorrow’s League Two clash at high-flying Gillingham.
The City boss, left, said: “Age is no concern if I feel a player is man enough to do a job. I watched a 17-year-old left-back play for Southampton the other night and thought he was absolutely superb.
“Jack’s 18 but he’s a man and has a desire for the game. He’s a versatile centre-half who can also play at left-back.
“With David McGurk and Chris Doig both injured that only leaves us with Chris Smith and Tom Allan, although I know Dan Parslow can play there as can Lanre (Oyebanjo). But I wanted to balance things with a left-footer and that’s what Jack brings.
“We are also trying to bring Tom Allan along in the right way and I don’t think the time is quite right to throw him in.”
Mills went on to point out that the injuries to McGurk and Doig will see both sidelined for an indeterminate length of time.
Added Mills: “Dave McGurk’s is a hamstring problem and you never know with them. It could be one week but it could be anything up to six. Chris Doig will have another scan on his ankle on Monday so it’s a bit annoying what’s going on with him.”
The pair’s injuries are unlikely, however, to provide an opening for teenage defender Jameel Ible, who was also recruited from Salford City this week.
“At 19, Jameel’s just a young lad at this moment in time that I have seen something in,” Mills explained. “I’ve not signed him to come straight into the side but he’s had a good upbringing at Sheffield Wednesday before drifting out of the game.
“I like the look of him. He’s got good feet and is a good athlete and, as much as there is still a lot to do this season, we’ve got to look forward as well.
“Sometimes a young player comes along who you feel you can get something out of and you have to take a punt, if you like. He might even play a part this season at some stage.”
Mills added that Oli Johnson will join the travelling party for Gillingham after recovering from his groin and stomach problems, while John McReady has a good chance of featuring from the bench after impressing during this week’s 1-0 reserve defeat against Scunthorpe.
The City boss, meanwhile, will be looking for his side to impose their passing game on the hosts, as well as dealing with a direct approach from Martin Allen’s team.
“We will go to Gillingham confident and play our passing game,” Mills insisted. “We’ve not been able to play that as much as I would have liked in the last two matches but, if we are going to be successful, we’ve got to play the way I want us to play.
“We know it will be tough but we’ve been to Cheltenham recently and that was a good grounding for Gillingham. There will be a lot of long throws and set-pieces and they will be direct.
“We coped well with that at Cheltenham and will have to do tomorrow as well but I want them to worry about us. We won’t be changing the way we play to suit them. If you start doing that, it creates problems.”