Derry City sign former Celtic midfielder Joe Thomson while Stephen Mallon extends loan from Sheffield United

Thu, Jul 02 2020

Stephen Mallon celebrates his first goal for the Candystripes in a 2-0 victory over Bohemians in March. Credit: Clare McCahill (ETPhotos)

Derry City have strengthened ahead of the League of Ireland’s resumption later this month with the signing of Scottish midfielder Joe Thomson, while winger Stephen Mallon’s loan been extended to the end of the season.

Celtic youth product Thomson arrives from Dunfermline Athletic, with whom he’s spent the past two seasons in the Scottish Championship.

Republic of Ireland under-21 international Mallon showed fine form for the Candystripes before football was suspended in March.

The Belfast native scored twice in five games and impressed enough for manager Declan Devine to seek permission from parent club Sheffield United to prolong the loan until November.

“I’m delighted with the business we’ve done today but we still have plenty of irons in the fire,” Devine told the club’s official website.

“Getting Stevie’s contract extended is fantastic for us. He’s a talented lad and has a huge future in the game.

“Lockdown probably came at the wrong time for him as he was absolutely flying, but he looks really sharp in training and I have no doubt Stevie will have a huge role to play for us when we start back up.”

Thomson will provide competition in a well-stocked engine room at the Brandywell, with Gerardo Bruna, Conor Clifford and Conor McCormack already in situ.

“Joe is quality. He made his senior debut for Celtic aged just 17 and has plenty of experience playing at a good level in Scotland.

“He’s somebody we’ve had an eye on for a while and was in the same Academy team as Mickey Duffy.nJoe likes to get forward from midfield and he will give us great options in several positions.

“Our midfield looks really strong now- Jack Malone and Ciaron Harkin have also looked impressive since coming back.

“Factor in Conor McCormack, Gerardo Bruna and Conor Clifford and we have the options to go with two, three or four in the middle of the park as necessary.

“We are continuing to look to strengthen in other areas too and I have no doubt we’ll be ready to go at the end of the month.”