Derry City have landed a major transfer coup by signing Manchester City midfielder Joe Hodge on a six-month loan deal.
The 18-year old has chosen to move to the SSE Airtricity League after his parent club suggested he gain first-team experience.
Hodge was scholar of the year at the Premier League side.
The Republic of Ireland Under-19 international is expected to be promoted to the 21s group next month such is his development.
Hodge was awarded his first professional contract at the Etihad last August and will now move to Ireland in what is a boost for the FAI as well in their bid to ensure his future remains in the green shirt of Ireland.
The English-born player qualifies for Ireland through his Irish grandmother but has previously played for England.
GOAL Ireland— RTÉ Soccer (@RTEsoccer) July 15, 2019
NOR 1-1 IRE
81mins Joe Hodge with a cracking strike from 25 yards to equalise against Norway at the Under-19 European Championships.#RTEsoccer
Updates: https://t.co/LoDZpzfwjf pic.twitter.com/EOCl23sd3D
"I'm absolutely delighted to be bringing Joe to Derry City," Candystripes boss Declan Devine stated.
"It’s a high-profile loan signing for us given that Man City are one of the biggest clubs in the world and Joe is one of their top young talents and current Scholar of the Year."
"Of course Joe is just 18-years-old and this will be his first venture into senior football.
"We want to help him evolve and to enjoy this opportunity. I’m hoping that his spell with Derry City will play some small part in the youngster fulfilling his potential."
"I’d like to thank Manchester City for their assistance in getting the deal done and assure them we will look after the lad."
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