David Parkhouse: New Derry City striker fully committed to club but 'not giving up' on return to England

David Parkhouse
Parkhouse has made 17 Northern Ireland Under 21 appearances

David Parkhouse has said he is fully committed to Derry City but that he has not given up hope of securing a return to England.

The Northern Ireland Under-21 striker has joined the Candystripes on a three-year deal after having had a successful loan spell at the Brandywell in 2019.

Parkhouse, 21, was at Sheffield United at the time and has since been on loan at Stevenage and Hartlepool United.

"I am 100% here first of all for my hometown club," he said.

"I'm doing it from where the heart lies, but there is not a chance that I am giving up on England. It is every footballer's dream to play in England or a country where the standard is above and beyond.

"In certain aspects I am definitely here to prove a point because I feel that I didn't get the chance that I deserved when I was in England. I was in England for six years and Sheffield have been brilliant with me - without their help I might not be sitting where I am today.

"My heart lies with Derry City now and I just want to get back to playing football and enjoying myself, scoring goals and doing what I can for the team."

'I don't feel under pressure'

Parkhouse scored 19 goals in 39 appearances under manager Declan Devine during his season with his hometown club, helping the club to secure a place in Europe.

The man who has made 17 appearances for Northern Ireland at Under-21 level said he is determined to ensure his second spell at the club is another successful one.

"I don't feel pressure. I know my worth and what I'm capable of doing. I'm at a stage now where I just need to get back to loving football again," he continued.

"In the 2019 season I certainly showcased what I can do but that is not the finished article. In some ways I do want to pick up from where I left off, but I will not sell myself short. I'm going to work hard in pre-season and build on what I did the last year I was here.

"I am a hard-working footballer, I never get too comfortable with where I am at and I'm always wanting more and to find new challenges. Declan has shown trust in me and I have trust in Declan to do what he has continued to do."

Parkhouse signing part of 'no-risk' approach - McCourt

Paddy McCourt
McCourt's Derry City have not played since 6 March due to the coronavirus lockdown

With the League of Ireland not expected to return until mid-March at the earliest due to the Covid-19 crisis, Parkhouse is Derry's second new signing of the close season, with former player Daniel Lafferty also returning from Shamrock Rovers.

Paddy McCourt, the club's technical director, said the signings are part of a "no-risk" transfer policy that the club is pursuing.

"We are delighted to get David's signing over the line. He is a local lad who has been here before and who really loves the club - to get him here on a three-year contract at his age is great for us," the former Celtic and Northern Ireland winger explained.

"It is something that we are looking at across the board - we want to try and minimise risk with our signings this year. We took a lot of risks last year with players who were unproven in the league and it did not seem to work.

"The meetings that Declan, myself and the board have had have been along the lines of 'let's get players back here who we know' and who know the league. David has proved that he can score goals at this level and that was part of our thinking in bringing him back."

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