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Dublin: 10 °C Monday 27 May, 2019
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Ryan excited to embark on Canadian adventure

The former PFAI Player of the Year has left Shamrock Rovers to join Ottawa Fury.

Ryan in action for Shamrock Rovers last season.
Ryan in action for Shamrock Rovers last season.
Image: INPHO/Ryan Byrne

RICHIE RYAN’S SHORT spell back in the Airtricity League has ended after last night’s announcement that the midfielder will join Canadian club Ottawa Fury.

The Tipperary native, who was named PFAI Player of the Year in 2010 while playing for Sligo Rovers, departed Scottish Premiership side Dundee United at the end of last season and was snapped up by Shamrock Rovers.

However, just four months down the line, he officially left the Hoops by mutual consent yesterday and agreed a full-time professional contract on a one-year deal with Fury.

Based in the Canadian capital, the club will be one of the new franchises joining the North American Soccer League (NASL), which is one level below the MLS, for the 2014 season.

Speaking to TheScore.ie, the 28-year-old revealed the move came about when he made contact with an agent through Twitter.

“It was a weird one really, it came about through Twitter,” Ryan said.

“I just got in contact with an agent who  is based over there because moving to Canada or America has always been something I have thought about doing.

“I looked into it a few years ago but it didn’t come off back then but thankfully it has now.

“I’ve been quite lucky to be honest.  It has been in the pipeline for a little bit but it wasn’t concrete until last week.

The club is only starting up and I spoke to the manager and people over there. It seems like a club that wants to go as high as it can.

“They’re building a new 24,000-seater stadium at the moment and it seems like a good organisation to get involved with.”

Ryan is due back training at the beginning of February and will make the move with his girlfriend in the coming weeks.

“I’m just looking forward to it. I wish it was sooner than six weeks’ time because I just want to get back training and playing. I want the experience to start as soon as possible.”

Although Shamrock Rovers were keen to hold onto his services, manager Trevor Croly and the club understood that the player didn’t want to turn down the opportunity and allowed him to leave without any difficulty.

“I spoke to Trevor and I’d like to thank him and Shamrock Rovers for the way they have dealt with me. They have been really easy to work with and they understand my reasoning behind taking this move.

“The move isn’t to do with money or anything like that. I’ve just always wanted to try it and if I didn’t now I’d probably never get another chance.

“I’m hoping that it will work out and if it does brilliant but it’s one of those things that if you don’t try it then you might look back and think maybe I should have.”

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Ben Blake

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