Wanderers have bid rejected for Northern Ireland defensive prospect Toal
WANDERERS have had a bid rejected for Derry City defender Eoin Toal, according to reports in Ireland.
The 23-year-old centre-half, who is out of contract at the end of the year, has been recommended to the Whites as a future Northern Ireland international.
Toal, who stands at nearly 6ft 3ins, is currently in his sixth season with Derry and was made captain of the club at the start of the season.
He is currently preparing for a Europa Conference League game against Latvian side Riga FC – but news broke this evening that a Wanderers contingent is due to travel to the Walled City this weekend to continue negotiations.
Wanderers have been on the lookout for defensive competition this summer and missed out of ex-Gillingham man Jack Tucker, who elected to sign for MK Dons after indicating he did not want to move to the North West.
Toal has already played 20 games this season, scoring once, and has also represented Northern Ireland at Under-15s, 17s, 19s and 21 level.
He has nearly 150 senior appearances under his belt and also helped Derry win the Irish League Cup as a teenager in 2018.
Toal also hopes to gain a senior international cap for his country, and could well link up with fully fledged internationals Dion Charles and Conor Bradley at the UniBol.
“Obviously you always want to be playing at the highest level you can and if that opportunity came along I'm sure I would go but at the moment I'm just focussed on Derry,” he said in an interview with the Irish News last year.
“I think it's going to be a big year for me and a big year for the club. Being captain is a big challenge but it's one I'm looking forward to and it shows you the faith that the manager has put in me. It's an honour for me and my family, it's a bigger responsibility but I'm not going to change as a person, I'm going to carry on and be as professional as possible. All I can do is my best, that's all I can hope for.
“I would like to think that I'm professional in the way I train and live, every player at Derry is as well – they all come in do their work and it's the same for the gaffer and the coaches the way they set things up and look after us.
“I think we're shaping up nicely for this season. We've got a good mix of young players and experienced players and I think there's a few more to come in. I think we're going to do well and I'm looking forward to it.”
Toal comes from a Gaelic football family, explaining that he switched sports early in his teens.
“I was always into the Gaelic but when I was about 13-14 we had a good Armagh City team and I just changed my mind and became a big soccer-head,” he said.
“I'm the only in the family that's into soccer, none of the rest of them plays it.
“Everybody in Armagh wants to play for the county but I chose the soccer route. I just thought it was the best option for me and when Derry came calling, I couldn't say no. It was full-time football and that's what I always wanted.”