Ex Bristol Rovers skipper Mark McChrystal returns to Derry City

Mark McChrystal has returned to Derry City.
Mark McChrystal has returned to Derry City.
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FORMER Bristol Rovers captain, Mark McChrystal has returned to his hometown club, Derry City having signed a contract until the end of the 2019 Airtricity Premier Division campaign.

The ex-Northern Ireland U21 international, who spent the past two seasons with Irish League outfit, Crusaders, has been added to Declan Devine's first team squad for Friday night's visit of league leaders, Dundalk.

Following the departure of defender, Josh Kerr and the continued absence of the injured Patrick McClean, City boss, Devine is delighted to have the experienced centre half on board.

“Mark joins us off the back of a wonderful career in the game, having captained Bristol Rovers and Tranmere Rovers and played in England for a number of years, so he brings experience to a relatively young squad," said Devine.

“He gives us competition for places but he also gives us that know-how. He’s a guy that knows the set-up, he knows the game and knows the way we work and he’s a fantastic professional footballer and if our young lads can learn anything then there’s a brilliant example in Mark McChrystal in our changing room."

McChrystal who had a successful spell with Bristol Rovers between 2013 and 2017 as the Pirates earned two promotions on their way to League One, returns for a fourth spell with Derry City.

He spent three seasons with the Candy Stripes from 2003 to 2006 following his release from Wolves and returned for a further two year spell from 2007 to 2009 after a short time at Partick Thistle.

After negotiating an early release from his contract with Lisburn Distillery he then joined Stephen Kenny's Derry team for a third spell as he helped guide the club to the First Division title.