Derry confirms loan signing for Irish U19 international Joe Hodge from Manchester City
Derry City have confirmed the signing of Irish Manchester City starlet Joe Hodge on loan.
he England-born teenage midfielder is seen as one of the top prospects within the Irish underage setup and his decision to come to these areas for a stay was seen as a major plus in the longer term.
His parent club wanted Hodge to gain experience in men’s football and former League of Ireland midfielder Fergal Harkin is overseeing their loan operation.
Hodge (18) was Ireland’s U-17 Player of the Year last season, but he’s also upgraded to U-19 for the European Championships in 2019 and is expected to be part of the U-21 squad of Jim Crawford in the future.
“I am absolutely delighted to bring Joe to Derry City,” said Derry boss Declan Devine.
“It’s a high-profile loan signing for us given that Man City are one of the biggest clubs in the world and Joe is one of their best young talents and current ‘Fellow of the Year’.”
“Of course Joe is only 18 and this will be his first adventure in senior football.”
“We want to help him evolve and take advantage of this opportunity. Hopefully his time at Derry City will play a small part in realizing his potential by the youngster.
“I want to thank Manchester City for their help in making the deal and I assure them that we will take care of the boy.”
Derry has room in the engine room after the departures of Conor McCormack, Conor Clifford and Gerardo Bruna and Hodge is set to start the season at their midfield base with the Candystripes keen to use the new signing’s technical abilities to dictate their style.
Hodge signed an initial six-month loan, but it is possible that it will be extended until the end of the Irish League season in November if all parties are satisfied.