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Deegan ends decade-long spell in the UK to join newly-promoted Shelbourne

The midfielder returns to the League of Ireland from Cambridge United, where he was club captain.

Gary Deegan at Cambridge United.
Gary Deegan at Cambridge United.
Image: Mike Egerton

SHELBOURNE HAVE ANNOUNCED the signing of veteran midfielder Gary Deegan ahead of their return to the League of Ireland Premier Division.

Deegan returns to Shels from Cambridge United, where he had been club captain.

The League Two outfit agreed to the mutual termination of his contract after he made 89 appearances since his arrival in 2017.

The 32-year-old hadn’t featured for the club yet this season, which he missed a substantial portion of due to illness.

Although Deegan began his career at Shelbourne, he rose to prominence while playing for Bohemians. He was a member of the Bohs side that won the double in 2008, before helping them to retain their Premier Division title the following season.

The Dubliner was then signed by Chris Coleman at Coventry City. During his time in the UK, he also had spells with Hibernian, Northampton Town, Southend United and Shrewsbury Town.

“I’m really pleased,” Shelbourne manager Ian Morris said of the signing of Deegan. “He’s the one that I’ve been keeping an eye on for quite a while. He brings a wealth of experience to us with attitude, mentality and ability as well, so I’m delighted to get him in.

“He’ll be a big help and drive standards, as well as adding to what we have in the building. We’ve got a lot of experience in there and I think he’ll be the final piece of the puzzle.”

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Shels, who were crowned League of Ireland First Division champions in 2019, will begin life back in the top flight with a trip to Cork City on 14 February.

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Paul Dollery

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