Why Rory Patterson is worth a punt

Derry City striker Rory Patterson took to social media yesterday to announce an end to his association with the club (see below), having being placed on the transfer list only a few weeks ago.

The former Plymouth Argyle front man held an incredible scoring record at City with 54 goals in just 87 league appearances between 2012 and 2014 ,with an FAI cup medal to boot.

Patterson’s impact from the bench in that 2012 FAI cup final is sure to live on in the memory of ”Candystripe” fans as the Strabane native scored from the penalty spot to take the tie with St.Patrick’s Athletic to extra-time before bagging the winner in the 105th minute, breaking ”Saints” hearts in the process.

Just as memorable as his in March performance was Patterson’s post match interview, where he vented his disgust at being left out of the starting eleven at the Aviva Stadium, stating he had shown everyone including manager Declan Devine exactly what he was all about.

However, 2014 was a disastrous period for the career of the striker as new and controversial Derry boss Roddy Collins left him out of his squad all together, claiming that Patterson was not willing to work hard enough for the team.

While that decision backfired greatly on the soon to be sacked Collins, Patterson struggled to rediscover his form under Peter Hutton (yet still ended the season as the club’s top scorer, a sign of his natural ability) and with him being one of the clubs highest earners, it’s no surprise the cash struck club decided to place Patterson on the transfer market.

It would be a case of stating the obvious to say money is not a free-flowing entity among League of Ireland clubs at present and that is the most likely reason no club made an approach for Patterson during his time on the transfer list at Derry City.

However, now that the 30-year-old has taken matters into his own hands and declared he is a free-agent from today onwards, reports linking him with Dundalk are sure to re-emerge as Stephen Kenny continues his search to replace Pat Hoban at Oriel Park.

Critics of Patterson point towards the striker’s temperament and perceived ego as stay away signs and that any potential arrival at Oriel Park could affect what appears to be a closely knit dressing room.

However, following the departure of Pat Hoban to English football, Stephen Kenny is lacking some star power in his forward line with title rivals Cork City strengthening in that area with the arrival of Karl Sheppard from Shamrock Rovers backing up the hugely impressive Mark O’Sullivan and veteran John O’Flynn.

No one can dispute the fact that when on form, Rory Patterson is one of the most clinical strikers in the country with a goal record of more than one in two for Derry City, and with St.Pat’s holding onto their star striker, Christy Fagan, Stephen Kenny may just feel the need to take a punt on this charismatic enigma as the ”Lillywhites” look to retain their crown as champions.

The Author

Kieran Burke

While a fan and follower of football from all over the globe, Kieran Burke specialises in all things League of Ireland with opinionated pieces, big name interviews and match previews/reports his bread and butter. Check out his new website www.betweenthestripesblog.wordpress.com

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