Derry City boss Declan Devine hoping to keep Barry McNamee at the Brandywell

The Candystripes coach hailed the ability of his midfielder but admitted that it would be difficult to keep the player at the Brandywell, if there was interest from abroad
Derry City manager Declan Devine is hoping to hold on to midfielder Barry McNamee, but conceded that it might prove difficult.

The Candystripes have sold on a number of players to British clubs in recent years, with James McClean joining Sunderland in 2011 and Stephen McLaughlin joining Nottingham Forest at the end of the 2012 campaign.

And prior to the beginning of the 2013 season, McNamee, 21, was also on trial at Nottingham Forest, but a move to the Championship side did not materialise.

"I hope we can keep him," Devine told the Derry Journal. "He's a smashing player, but the nature of the club is that there's always going to be players who will wish move on.

"There's no doubt that McNamee is an outstanding talent and we have no doubt that other players at this club continue to attract attention."

The Derry City boss also paid tribute to former Republic of Ireland youth international Shane McEleney and suggested that the 22-year-old could also attract attention from abroad.

"For me, Shane McEleney is also going to be very difficult to hold onto," added Devine. "He's a six foot four inch centre-back who has got pace and he’s got better and better in the air.

"In fact, there are a lot of players at the club who could, potentially, attract interest," he concluded.