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Cork City confirm capture of coveted ex-West Ham winger Sadlier

The former Ireland U21 international leaves Sligo Rovers to join the Premier Division leaders.

Kieran Sadlier Kieran Sadlier in action for Sligo Rovers. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

CORK CITY HAVE today announced the signing of Kieran Sadlier from Sligo Rovers on an 18-month contract — with the option of another year.

Sadlier, a playmaker who’s been operating in an advanced position wide on the left for Sligo, becomes the ninth player to swap the Showgrounds for Turner’s Cross since John Caulfield took over as Cork City manager for the 2014 season.

He joins City for an undisclosed fee but Sligo say ”favourable terms to develop our squad for the rest of the season and our long-term future” have been agreed.

“This has been a tough decision to come to but one we feel is right for the club. Kieran has been at outstanding player for Sligo Rovers and has a fantastic future in the game,” said Sligo Rovers chairman Martin Heraghty.

“His contribution has been very important to us in the last 18 months and we are proud of how he has reignited his career in the Showgrounds. His professionalism and hard work have resulted in some outstanding displays in the Rovers jersey.

“With just four months left on Kieran’s contract and undoubtedly huge interest to come in him as a free agent, we feel this deal gives Gerard [Lyttle, manager] a chance to shape the squad how he wants and bring in some new talent to the Showgrounds.

“It’s not a decision we have taken lightly but it’s one we felt necessary when an acceptable offer came in from Cork City. We wish Kieran great success in his future and know he leaves here with many good memories of his time with Sligo Rovers.”

Soccer - FA Youth Cup - Fourth Round - West Ham United v Tottenham Hotspur - Upton Park West Ham's Kieran Sadlier challenging Tottenham's Alexander McQueen during an FA Youth Cup game in 2013. Source: EMPICS Sport

The 22-year-old signed for Sligo last season after spells at St Mirren, Peterborough United and Halifax Town. He previously spent 10 years at West Ham United.

Despite being born in England, Sadlier has represented the Republic of Ireland from U15 to U21 level as his late grandfather was born in Tipperary. In May he spoke to The42 about his desire to be capped by Ireland at senior level.

Sadlier has been one of the top performers in the SSE Airtricity League this season, scoring six times for Sligo in the Premier Division. Two of those goals came against Cork City. He was on target in both of Sligo’s 2-1 defeats to John Caulfield’s side.

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Sadlier, who is also understood to have been on Dundalk’s radar, marked his final game for Sligo by providing an assist for John Russell’s winning goal in last night’s clash with Shamrock Rovers.

His arrival in Cork provides a timely personnel boost for the Leesiders, who are set to lose striker Seanie Maguire and left-back Kevin O’Connor to Preston North End on 24 July.

Sadlier said: “It’s an exciting move for me with Cork’s prospects in the league and European football, but I am sad to leave Sligo Rovers. Sligo gave me a chance when I really needed to play football after coming here from England.

“Since I have walked in the door everyone has been so welcoming and treated me so well. I’ve made good friends here, the people at the club look after you and I’ve really enjoyed being here.”

He added: “I’m at a point in my career when I want to win trophies and be successful. When I sat down and thought about the interest in me from other clubs, I felt I had to come to this decision. The committee and the manager could have made it difficult but they haven’t stood in my way and the manager called me again to wish me well and I’m really grateful for their support.

“I’ll look forward to coming back to Sligo when I play games here next season. It’s a place I’ll always have good recollections of and I wish everyone here the very best going forward because from the players to the manager, supporters and everyone; they deserve it because they give you their all.”

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