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James McClean's brother Patrick signs for Sligo Rovers

Patrick McClean helped Waterford earn promotion to the top flight last season.

Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

PATRICK MCCLEAN HAS signed a two-year deal with Sligo Rovers from Waterford, the club has announced.

The 21-year-old defender, who is a younger brother of Irish international James, started his League of Ireland career at his hometown club Derry City before later going on to join Waterford. He also earned a trial with League One side Walsall.

He played an integral role in Waterford’s journey to promotion in 2017, after they were confirmed as First Division champions last September.

McClean watched on as Sligo were defeated by Limerick in the Showgrounds last weekend on the back of a Darren Dennehy goal. And commenting on his new move, he told the club website:

“I’m delighted to finally be here. It has taken some time to get everything signed off.

“I was at the game on Saturday. There was a great crowd there, over 3,000 which is brilliant for a League of Ireland side. I was treated so well and the people couldn’t do enough.

“I felt when the team conceded the goal, they lacked bite. That’s something I will try to bring.

“I’m here to play. The gaffer mentioned about the possibility of playing centre half or left back because of a couple of injuries in defence but I’m happy just to play.

“It was hard to focus in the last while as pre-season concluded. Now I’m here, I want to bed myself into the club and make my mark.”

Sligo Rovers manager Gerard Lyttle said he has been eager to sign McClean for a while, and is looking forward to working with him.

“We’re delighted to get the deal done” he told the club website.

“Patrick is aggressive, strong in a tackle, good in the air and was captaining Waterford for some matches at 20-years-old which will tell you about his mentality.

Kenny Browne and Patrick McClean lift The SSE Airtricity League First Division Patrick McClean lifting the SSE Airtricity League First Division cup alongside Kenny Browne. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

“He had been with Derry and the season with Waterford has brought him along further. I was trying to sign him at Cliftonville when he was at Derry and I’ve been tracking him since.

“Kevin Deery has been monitoring the situation in the last few weeks and I don’t think he fully settled down there. It’s a long way from Derry and that was a hindrance to him. We tried to get the deal done last week but it took time.

“He was in The Showgrounds last Saturday night to see what the club is about and I think it impressed him. He has made a sacrifice to come here this season – this is a good deal for the club for a player of his calibre.

“He is a centre half but can also feature at left-back. When we have a full hand defensively, it’s going to be hard fought to get in the team and that’s brilliant for us.

“Patrick offers a goal threat at set pieces. We didn’t look the biggest of sides against Limerick and that’s another positive in him joining us. It’s a big addition.”

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