Ryan Byrne/INPHO Ciaran Kelly has departed Bohemians.

Bradford boss Mark Hughes hails signing of in-demand Bohemians defender

Ciaran Kelly has joined the League Two club and will make his debut in the New Year.

MARK HUGHES HAS hailed the signing of Bohemians defender Ciaran Kelly after tracking the 24-year-old over the last number of months.

The Bradford City manager revealed that the League Two club beat off competition from clubs in League One, as well as rivals in their own division, and explained how a trip to visit Kelly and his family went some way to convincing him to choose the Bantams on a deal until the summer of 2025.

“We are pleased to be welcoming Ciarán to the club, as the first of our January signings. He is a player who has attracted a lot of interest from teams at this level and above, but had his heart set on joining us here at Bradford City,” he told the club’s website.

“We have been monitoring Ciarán for a number of months, and have travelled over to Ireland to meet with him and his family who were all very excited about the move.

“He is a left-sided centre-half who is fiercely competitive but also fits in well to the style of play we have adopted. He will start training with his new team-mates this week, as we look forward to introducing him properly to the action in the New Year.”

Kelly’s departure is a blow to new Bohs boss Declan Devine, but the centre back admitted the opportunity was too good to turn down.

“It feels great to be here. This is a massive club, and I am determined to play a part in its history.

“I have played in finals and big games in Europe, but have come here to stamp my authority on the English leagues and be a part of something special.

“I always want to challenge myself, and see this as the next step up in my career. Hopefully, I can achieve great things here.

“I have been to a few games already and witnessed the atmosphere at a big game. The supporters are right behind the club, and looking around at the stadium fills me with excitement. I cannot wait to kick on, get on the pitch and hopefully do the fans proud.”

Meanwhile, Finn Harps have announced the appointment of Darren Murphy as manager Dave Rogers’ assistant.

Most recently first-team coach and head of the academy with Crusaders in the Irish League, Murphy brings a wealth of experience having also been on the staff for two league titles with Linfield as well as working in the IFA’ underage international set-up.

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