Derry City sign Spanish defender Castells on short-term deal

Derry City's Conor McCormack challenges Greg Bolger of Cork City
Derry City's Conor McCormack challenges Greg Bolger of Cork City
Airtricity Premier Division: Derry City v Cork City
Venue: Brandywell Date: Monday, 15 August Kick-off: 19:45 BST
Coverage: Listen live on BBC Radio Foyle 93.1 FM and the BBC Sport website

Derry City manager Kenny Shiels has moved to ease his defensive worries by signing Spanish centre-back Cristian Castells on a short term deal.

Castells, 31, is however unlikely to be eligible for Monday's Premier Division game with Cork City at the Brandywell.

Shiels admits he is "down to the bare bones" defensively, with Ryan McBride and Aaron Barry facing potentially lengthy spells on the sidelines.

The Derry boss says McBride may have to be "patched up" for the Cork match.

"None of our centre-backs are available, so I'm down to looking at kids, but it's asking too much of them to throw them into a game of such importance against a team of the quality of Cork," observed Shiels.

Irish League players 'too expensive'

Castells, who has joined the Candystripes until the end of the season, has played for Alicante in the Segunda, the second professional tier of Spanish football.

"I need a player in because of our injury problems in defence and these guys' salary demands are less than half of what I would have to pay an Irish League player.

"The Irish League is too expensive for me to get a quality player. There are about 16 players in the Irish League I would go for and I've been after about four or five but the market is just too high. That is the bottom line.

"Cristian is very athletic, has got an aerial presence, comes and attacks the ball and is technically good.

"He has leadership qualities and he's not a typical Spanish defender, but he's rugged and should fit into our league well.

"I do dossiers on players and find out about their character first, that's one of the most important things. If that comes up trumps I can get them to fit into the dynamics of the team."

Cork have games in hand

Derry lie second in the table, one point ahead of their opponents on Monday night, but Cork have three games in hand because of their European club football commitments.

"The last time we went into a game against Cork it was on the back of a horrendous defeat to Finn Harps and there was doom and gloom around the whole club, which we had to rise above," explained Shiels.

"Both Cork and Dundalk have had blips because of their participation in Europe, while we saw off Harps 5-0, so we don't want to fall into the opposite trap of feeling too good about ourselves," he added.

Top Stories