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Dublin: 11°C Monday 19 April 2021

Saint Pat's defender Luke McNally joins League One club on permanent deal

The 21-year-old has signed for Oxford United.

Luke McNally is unveiled as Oxford's latest signing.
Luke McNally is unveiled as Oxford's latest signing.
Image: Oxford United Twitter

SAINT PATRICK’S ATHLETIC defender Luke McNally has completed a permanent transfer to League One club Oxford United for an undisclosed fee. 

Pat’s said today there has been significant interest in the 21-year-old over the last 12 months,  and he played every minute of the club’s 2020 league season. 

It’s understood Ipswich were among the clubs interested in him.

“It’s probably every kid’s dream to try and make it across the water eventually, so my chance has come and I’ve taken it. I am very happy to be at Oxford, and it’s a great opportunity”, McNally told Pat’s in-house media channel. 

McNally has signed a three-and-a-half year deal at Oxford, and his arrival has been hailed by Oxford boss Karl Robinson. 

“He’s a good size, he uses the ball well and there were a lot of clubs interested so we are happy that he sees Oxford as a club where he can come over to England and hopefully continue to develop. He has been playing senior competitive football regularly and that has really helped him get used to the physical side of the game. He’s raw, perhaps, but he’s another we feel will go on and do really well for the club.”

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McNally signed for Pat’s U19s in 2017, and signed his first professional in 2019 before going on loan to Drogheda United, whom he helped to the First Division play-offs. 

An U19 Irish international, McNally was also included in an Irish U21 training camp last September. 

Oxford are 11th in League One, but are just six points from the play-offs with three games in hand. 

“It’s been a pleasure working with and developing Luke over the last year and we wish him all the best in his new adventure”, said Pat’s manager Stephen O’Donnell.

“He has done his business right and applied himself really well at St Pat’s, and he now has an opportunity to go and pursue his dreams in the UK. He has shown great potential, everyone from the club, myself, the staff, players and supporters wish him all the best and we’ll be following his career closely.”

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Gavin Cooney

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