Jack Malone felt 'time was right' to leave Derry City as midfielder seals Glenavon transfer

JACK Malone says it is ‘the right time to move on’ from Derry City after sealing a permanent move to Irish League outfit Glenavon.

By Simon Collins
Monday, 25th July 2022, 7:20 pm
Updated Monday, 25th July 2022, 7:23 pm
Jack Malone pictured in action for Derry City against Drogheda United this season. One of his last appearances in a Derry shirt.
Jack Malone pictured in action for Derry City against Drogheda United this season. One of his last appearances in a Derry shirt.

The 22 year-old midfielder found himself falling further down the pecking order at Brandywell following the recent arrival of Sadou Diallo.

A January loan move fell through and with Malone limited to just three appearances this season - two of those from the bench - the Waterside man decided his time at the club was up.

Expecting a baby girl with his partner, Megan, early next month, Malone requested a summer move and he’s now excited for a fresh challenge having signed a two year contract with the Lurgan Blues.

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“It came to the stage where I needed to get out and play games,” explained Malone, “I just can’t wait to get the buzz back and start enjoying football again. It’s been a tough couple of months not playing and I can’t wait to start playing games again.

“The easy option would be to wait until the end of the season. I tried to go on loan in January but it didn’t materialise. We brought in a few of the best midfielders in the country so I had that competition and wanted to go on loan.

“It didn’t happen and I got my head down and worked hard the past six months. I just think it’s the right time to move on now.

“I’ve got a wee baby girl due in two weeks so I think it’s the right time to move on and get sorted before she comes and hopefully everything goes well for me. It’s an exciting time and I can’t wait,” he smiled.

Former Derry City winger Josh Daniels made the switch from Derry to Mourneview Park in 2017 on a two year deal and went on to seal a move to Shrewsbury Town before moving on to The New Saints. Malone hopes his Glenavon career can hit similar heights.

“Josh Daniels is the prime example of how you can take your career on. Hopefully I can go there and play lots of games.

“I don’t think Derry fans saw the best of me. The last year has had a lot of ups and downs. There were times I felt I should’ve had a run of games but didn’t for one reason or another.

“I don’t look back with any regrets. I’ve been privileged to represent my city and every time I pulled on the jersey I’ve given 100 per cent and that’s all you can ask.

“Hopefully in the next few months I can show everyone what I’m capable of and I can go on to bigger and better things in my career.”

Malone played 68 competitive games for Derry since making his debut in the 4-0 win over Finn Harps at Brandywell on May 24th 2019. He scored his only goal for the club in a 3-0 win over Sligo Rovers at home, finishing off a terrific team move with a stunning strike from 25 yards.

It’s been a memorable period of his career since making the breakthrough from the Academy and he has no regrets.

"That was my only goal. I probably should've scored a few more but that was probably my highlight at Derry. I played in a number of positions for Derry under Decky (Devine) and Ruaidhri. I played right back, I've played attacking midfield, defensive midfield and I played 10 maybe 12 games under Decky tucked in on the right of midfield so I played in a lot of different positions. It's been up and down for years but ultimately it's been enjoyable. I'm just looking forward to getting going now at Glenavon.

"I grew up supporting my hometown club but 'needs must'. Maybe I could be back one day in the future. I wish them all the best for the rest of the season and for the next few years because it's a cracking group we have and no doubt they will go on to win trophies."