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Former Derry City and Celtic star Paddy McCourt hangs up his boots to focus on academy role

Paddy McCourt
Paddy McCourt
Aidan Fitzmaurice

Aidan Fitzmaurice

Former Celtic, Derry City and Northern Ireland star Paddy McCourt will hang up his boots to focus on a new role as head of the Derry City academy.

McCourt (34) has been lining out for Finn Harps in the First Division  this season, and he had been linked with a return to hometown club Derry.

The club confirmed today that the midfielder would rejoin City, but not in a playing capacity, and he will start work as head of their academy in September.

"It looks like there will be plenty of work ahead so I have notified Finn Harps that I will be retiring when my current contract is up to concentrate fully on this role," McCourt said of his new role, overseeing Derry's U13, U15, U17 and U19 teams.

"I'm really happy to be coming back to Derry City and in particular to have the opportunity to oversee this new development programme" he said.

"The club has identified an area where they feel more work is needed to secure the future of the younger players as they come through the ranks and it is a challenge I am relishing."

City spokesman Sean Barrett said: "We are delighted to be bringing someone of Paddy McCourt's stature into this role. He is a local guy who has graced football's biggest stages and he will hopefully inspire our young boys and girls to reach for the heights that he has."

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