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Dublin: 16 °C Wednesday 21 August, 2019
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Ex-Ireland U21 international heads to the US after being released by Liverpool

Corey Whelan has signed for Phoenix Rising, who are co-owned by Chelsea legend Didier Drogba.

Corey Whelan during his time at Liverpool.
Corey Whelan during his time at Liverpool.
Image: EMPICS Sport

PHOENIX RISING HAVE announced the signing of former Republic of Ireland U21 international Corey Whelan.

The English-born player, who can operate on the right and in the centre of defence, has joined the Arizona outfit following his release from Liverpool last month. 

“I’m really happy to get the deal over the line and can’t wait to get started,” he told his new club’s official website. “I’m excited to get there now and meet the lads, staff, supporters and the people of Phoenix. I’m looking forward to a new challenge and new chapter.”

Whelan had been on the books at Liverpool since the age of 10. He went on to captain their U23 side but was unable to make a first-team breakthrough. The 21-year-old gained senior experience during loan spells in League Two with Yeovil Town and Crewe Alexandra.

“We are excited to add a young player of Corey’s quality as we move into the second half of the season,” Bobby Dulle, Phoenix Rising’s general manager, said.

“At just 21 years old, Corey possesses the qualities we look for in our players. His experiences with Liverpool and ability to play in multiple positions will help strengthen our already talented group of players.”

Phoenix Rising are currently top of the Western Conference in the USL Championship, which is the second tier of football in the USA, sitting beneath Major League Soccer.

Legendary former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba played for Phoenix Rising last season before his retirement. Drogba remains a co-owner of the club. 

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Paul Dollery

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