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Dublin: 13 °C Wednesday 22 May, 2019
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Free agent Stephen Ireland earns short-term deal with Championship club

The 32-year-old midfielder has joined Bolton Wanderers.

Ireland has endured a couple of injury-ravaged years.
Ireland has endured a couple of injury-ravaged years.
Image: Getty Images

STEPHEN IRELAND WILL hope to revive his injury-hit career at Bolton Wanderers after securing a short-term contract with the Championship club.

The former Ireland midfielder joins Bolton as a free agent following his release from Stoke City at the end of last season.

32-year-old Ireland spent a period on trial with Bolton during pre-season but a fresh start at the University of Bolton Stadium appeared to have been scuppered by a calf injury. 

The Cork native was also heavily linked with a move to Aberdeen and German club Borussia Monchengladbach, but now links up with Phil Parkinson’s side.  

“Although he’s got a bit to do in terms of match fitness, we’ve got a lot of games coming up and I’m sure he will make a positive contribution,” Bolton boss Parkinson said.

Ireland made his long-awaited comeback from a horrific double leg break in January and went on to make four first-team appearances for Stoke last season as they suffered relegation to the Championship.

Ireland, who has also previously played for Manchester City, Aston Villa and Newcastle United, left Stoke after five seasons when his contract expired following the conclusion of the 2017-18 campaign.

Capped six times at international level, Ireland joins Bolton with the club sitting in 16th with four wins from their opening 12 league games. 

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Ryan Bailey

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