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Pat's snap up Rovers youngster while Galway secure 'real coup' for 2018

James Doona scored the winner for the Hoops in their EA Sports Cup semi-final against Cork City.

Screen Shot 2017-12-12 at 18.20.34 James Doona Source: St Patrick's Athletic

JAMES DOONA WILL return to the red and white of St Patrick’s Athletic next season after spending the last three seasons with Shamrock Rovers.

An attacking midfielder who can also play out wide, Doona joined Rovers from Pat’s in 2015 but the Inchicore native will be back at Richmond Park next year.

“Everyone at the club would like to welcome James into the group as we’re delighted he’ll link up with us for the coming season,” St Patrick’s Athletic manager Liam Buckley told the club’s official website.

“Considering he is only 19, James has a number of appearances under his belt and he impressed on numerous occasions last year. We know that not only can he perform at this level, but he has the potential to improve as well.

“He’s a talented midfielder who we feel can complement the group we’re putting together. We feel he’ll be a signing the supporters can really be excited about as he is a local lad as well.

“It is important that we retain a core group of players who can identify with the club, the local area and our supporters so we are delighted to secure James’ signature for next season.”

Doona, a Republic of Ireland youth international, had spent time in England recently training with Tranmere Rovers. The highlight of his time at Rovers was arguably his extra-time winner against Cork City in the 2017 EA Sports Cup semi-final.

Pat’s have also confirmed that goalkeeper Barry Murphy and winger Ian Turner have both extended their contracts to remain at Richmond Park in 2018.

Ryan Connolly celebrates scoring their third goal of the game Ryan Connolly Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Meanwhile, Galway United have announced that Ryan Connolly has returned to the club after a season at Shamrock Rovers. The Mayo-born midfielder will be hoping to help Galway to secure a swift return to the Premier Division following their recent relegation

Galway United manager Shane Keegan told their official website: “It’s a real coup to get Ryan. It’s certainly one that is going to catch the eye because of the quality that he gives us.

“The biggest compliment I can pay Ryan is how highly our players spoke about him last season. At times, they would point to the qualities Ryan has and that it might’ve been something that we were missing.

“I’ve had very productive discussions with him and I hope he can get the most out of Galway United and that we can get the most out of him. He could be outstanding for us next season.

“It’s a huge statement to get Ryan signed, there is no doubt that he could’ve remained in the Premier Division and while he did enjoy his time at Shamrock Rovers, I think he missed being back west and he enjoyed playing his football in Galway.”

Galway have also secured the services of striker Eoin McCormack for next season. He scored four times for the club after joining Shane Keegan’s side from Ballinasloe Town in June.

Elsewhere, Dundalk have confirmed that winger John Mountney — the club’s joint-longest-serving player alongside Chris Shields — has committed for the 2018 season.

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Paul Dollery

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