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Irish Independent
Irish Independent
Daniel McDonnell Twitter Email

‘I’ve never seen the man emotional in my life, and he showed a bit of emotion out there which is great to see’

Derry City manager Ruaidhrí Higgins and Patrick McEleney celebrate

Cup winning boss Ruaidhri Higgins paid tribute to the support of owner Philip O'Doherty after a record breaking FAI Cup final success over Shelbourne - with his opposite number Damien Duff now hoping for investment that will deliver 'drastic' changes to his budget.

Derry strolled to a 4-0 success in front of 32,412 fans at the Aviva Stadium, on a special occasion for the huge band of travelling fans which includes their self made billionaire backer O'Doherty who put the finance together to attract the likes of Higgins and star players Patrick McEleney and Michael Duffy back to the club.

"I've never seen the man emotional in my life, and he showed a bit of emotion out there which is great to see," said Higgins. "Sean Barrett as well. Two hardened businessman who are really proud of their football club."

It was a grim day on the pitch for Shelbourne and also in the stands with Reds fans ejected from the stadium after disturbances behind the goal where flares were thrown in the direction of Derry keeper Brian Maher during the drama-free second half.

However, Duff remains hopeful for the future and representatives of Southampton's primary owners Sport Republic were present at the game, including co-founder Rasmus Ankersen, the brains behind the rise of Brentford. The Irish Independent reported last week that the company are looking at taking a stake in the club and it was referenced by Duff in the aftermath.

"You’ve seen the articles about whether Sport Republic get involved or not. We won’t know - I know as much as you but that could drastically change things," he said.

"For (now) our working budget (for 2023), it will be bigger but still a long way off the six teams above us. We’ve been in the wilderness for many, many, many years. To be back at Lansdowne on the day of the big game – it’s an opportunity. An opportunity for me now to build."

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