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McDaid targets 20-goal finale for City faithful

HE'S the striker who keeps setting targets for himself and then beating them.

So it's no wonder that Derry City forward David McDaid is aiming high when it comes to Sunday's FAI Ford Cup final against St Patrick's Athletic at Lansdowne Road.

Catching the eye of the international team manager - that's Michael O'Neill, not Giovanni Trapattoni by the way - is one aim for McDaid but Derry's leading scorer this season also hopes to follow the example of his close friend and former team-mate James McClean by earning a move cross-channel.

At the start of the year McDaid's aim was to score 10 goals for Derry but he's already reached that mark by the mid-season stage and now that he's hit the 18-goal mark for the term, his new target is 20 goals and a successful day out against Pats on Sunday where he aims to impress.

"I hope to get away to England or Scotland and maybe there will be a few scouts at the game on Sunday," says the Northern Ireland U21 cap.

"I had trials with Newcastle United when I was 17 or 18 but it didn't go that well, but what James McClean has done in the last 18 months has given everyone here, and every player in the league, hope that it can happen for you. It's still a dream for me to go across the water and have a career over there.


"Me and James are very good friends, I've been over to Sunderland a few times, and he has never let his success go to his head. He keeps himself to himself and gets on with his job, he will always remember where he comes from, the money hasn't changed him, and I'd love to have a chance of a career in England too."

McDaid has certainly got people talking about him this term with a steady flow of goals. "It's been a great season for me personally, I suppose overall our league form as a team has been disappointing but on an individual level I can't have any complaints.

"I scored 18 goals and hopefully I can get at least one more on Sunday. My target for the season was 10, so once I got to 10 goals I upped that to 15, and now I'd like to finish on 20," says McDaid, who hopes that former Shamrock Rovers boss Michael O'Neill will be watching Sunday's final.

"I have played for the Northern Ireland U21s, I played in Hungary with Shane McEleney a few weeks ago and I never considered going with the Republic.

"If you're playing with a club in Ireland it's very hard to get picked for the Republic, if you want to get into the Republic's senior team you need to be in the Premier League or the Championship but I feel I have a chance with Northern Ireland," says McDaid.


"Michael O'Neill seems willing to at least give players a chance, he has shown faith in players who weren't being looked at before he was appointed and I think he's done a good job with the team."

For McDaid, playing for his hometown club is a big deal. Signing for Derry City as a 16-year-old, McDaid had to wait for his chance in the side and had loan spells with Sligo Rovers and Finn Harps to learn his trade, before establishing himself in the City side.

"I was brought up only around the corner from the Brandywell, as a young boy you wanted to play for Derry City. I loved watching people like Gary Beckett and Mark Farren play for the club and it's brilliant for me to have a chance of playing for Derry in the Cup final in a venue like the Aviva.

"I was a late bloomer, I didn't play football properly until I was around 14, but now I am getting the rewards," he admits.

"We have had some good form in the last while but form goes out in the window in a final. It's about being the best team on the day, and St Pat's have been very good all season. We can go into the final with confidence as we have shown we can beat teams."