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Dublin: 12 °C Wednesday 21 August, 2019
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Former St Pat's defender signs first pro contract with Birmingham City

18-year-old Ryan Burke signed a two-year deal with the club today.

DUBLINER RYAN BURKE has been rewarded for his performances with Birmingham City’s U23 side after signing his first professional contract with the club.

The 18-year-old joins the Championship outfit on a two-year deal.

Burke joined the club in 2017 from St Patrick’s Athletic after a successful trial at St Andrew’s.

The Ireland U19 international has made a big impact during his time at the club, joining the development squad when he turned 17 and leading Birmingham to the FA Youth Cup semi-final two season ago.

“I’m buzzing to get the first professional contract,” he told the club’s official media channels.

“Hopefully it can be the start of something really big. I’m buzzing to get it signed.

“It’s the first steps in a long, successful career. I’m just buzzing for this season now.

“When I moved over it was tough at the start. But I kind of found my rhythm early on and pushed into the U23s squad relatively early as well.”

Ryan Burke of Birmingham City. Birmingham City's new signing, Ryan Burke. Source: @BCFC Twitter

Of the challenges he faced when joining the squad, the left back said: “Physically the demands were a lot bigger because in Ireland you don’t get a lot of sessions in. Maybe two or three times a week.

Coming over here starting double sessions and preseason running. It’s a big physical demand, so that was pretty tough. You get used to it and over the weeks you end up getting better and better.”

The teenager made 29 appearances for the U23s last season, scoring once on the way to a runner’s up finish in the PDL North behind Leeds United and making the play-offs.

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