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Dublin: 6 °C Friday 14 December, 2018
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Former Liverpool youngster one of three significant additions for St Pat's

The Saints have brought in Alex O’Hanlon, Kurtis Byrne and Barry Murphy for the forthcoming season.

Alex O'Hanlon spent five years with Liverpool.
Alex O'Hanlon spent five years with Liverpool.
Image: EMPICS Sport

ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC have this afternoon announced the signings of Alex O’Hanlon, Kurtis Byrne and Barry Murphy for 2017.

The trio join Gavin Peers (Sligo Rovers) and Patrick Cregg (Shamrock Rovers) as the newest arrivals in Inchicore ahead of the beginning of the new season, which kicks off for Pat’s against Bray Wanderers at Richmond Park on 24 February.

Having left in 2013 to join Shamrock Rovers, Murphy returns for a second spell with the Saints. The 31-year-old goalkeeper will plug the gap left by the departure of Brendan Clarke, who’ll line out for Limerick this season.

Byrne, whose father Paul is a former Pat’s player, makes the move across Dublin after spending last season with Bohemians, for whom he scored 10 goals. The 26-year-old former Hibernian striker was a member of Dundalk’s league-winning squad in 2014 and ’15.

O’Hanlon returns to Ireland after spending five years in the Liverpool Academy. A left-sided midfielder who has also played as a full-back, the 20-year-old former St Kevin’s Boys player was released by the Anfield club last summer.

“I’m delighted to add the three lads to our squad as we continue our preparations for the new season and our opening fixture against Bray,” said St Patrick’s Athletic manager Liam Buckley.

“We’ve retained a large amount of our squad from last season and, coupled with our new signings and talented players from our underage sides, we’re looking forward to the year ahead.”

Kurtis Byrne scores a penalty Kurtis Byrne scoring from the penalty spot for Bohs against St Pat's last season. Source: Tom Beary/INPHO

Pat’s finished in seventh place in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division last season, but the 2013 champions and 2014 FAI Cup winners did manage to secure silverware for the fourth year in a row by retaining the League Cup.

Buckley added: “Barry will be a great signing for the club. We know Barry well from his time with us previously and it’s great to have him back. He’s a terrific keeper and will be a great addition to our group.

“Kurtis Byrne is technically one of the best players in the league, so to add him to our squad is a huge plus. He is another player our supporters will know well as he has a reputation of scoring some superb goals over the past few seasons and we hope that he can continue that trend with us.

“Finally, Alex is a hugely talented player and I’m delighted to welcome him to the club. Alex has an excellent left foot and will be a signing that our supporters can look forward to seeing in the colours of St Pat’s.

“He has experience from being involved in the Liverpool set-up for five years and has played at underage level for Ireland so we’re looking forward to seeing him feature throughout the 2017 season.”

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Paul Dollery

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