BRAZILIAN-BORN defender Hernany Macedo says he's ready for another taste of a Dublin derby in the St Patrick's Athletic colours tonight as he aims to become the first successful import from Brazil to the League of Ireland in decades.
The 25-year-old has been in Ireland for almost a year, but Friday's league win for St Pats away to Bohemians was his competitive debut as red tape delayed his progress, first at Dundalk and then Pats.
Macedo came on as a 68th-minute sub for Jake Kelly when his side were drawing 2-2 with their Dublin rivals but in-form winger Sean O'Connor came up with a stunning goal to win the tie and set up Pats for another local derby, away to Shels tonight.
And Macedo is keen to make up for lost time. "I am just happy to have played my first game for the club as I had to wait a long time to get my opportunity, hopefully I can play more games," Macedo said.
"I think I played well on my debut on Monday and maybe I can get into the team for this game tonight.
"I enjoyed that game against Bohemians, it was an exciting match and maybe all of the other derby games will be like that."
Since Nelson Da Silva shone at Derry City in the 1980s, only a handful of Brazilians have played in Ireland and none have made a lasting impression -- St Pats flirted with a pair of them (Luis Sicolotto and Paulo Nicomedes) nine years ago without success -- so Macedo would like to change that. "Not many players from Brazil have come to Ireland so I want to do well," he says. "Ireland is a good place to come as the league here is strong, the game is fast," added Macedo.
"My contract is up at the end of this season but I would like to stay on, and maybe play for St Pats in Europe next season if we can qualify."
He arrived in Ireland when a London-based agent hooked him up with Dundalk earlier this season, but due to work permit issues was unable to play for Dundalk, and Pats boss Liam Buckley added him to the squad.
Buckley may press the Brazilian into action tonight as full back Ian Bermingham, who has missed just one league game all season, is an injury concern.