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Irish Abroad

Championship strugglers sign second Irish international in the space of 24 hours

Stephen Kelly and Leon Best have been brought in to aid Rotherham’s survival bid.

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND international Stephen Kelly has earned a contract at Championship side Rotherham after impressing during a trial with the club.

The defender has been without an employer since leaving Reading during the summer and had been training with the Yorkshire outfit for the last two weeks.

He has today put pen-to-paper on a deal until the end of the season, subject to Football Associaton and Football League ratification.

He becomes the second Irish international to move to the New York Stadium in the space of 24 hours after striker Leon Best also signed a permanent contract with Neil Redfearn’s side.

32-year-old Kelly, who won 38 caps for the Boys in Green, brings a wealth of experience to Rotherham having playing in the league for Birmingham City, Fulham and most recently Reading.

He played 15 times for the Royals in the Championship last term but left after three years with the club.

“Stephen is obviously a vastly experienced player,” Redfearn told the club’s official website.

“He has played many times for his country and has played at good levels in the Premier League and The Championship. He is a fit lad, he has looked after himself well and he is a great addition for us.

“What we have been short of are players that have played at this level with the right experience.”

The Dubliner impressed during a number of behind closed doors friendlies for Rotherham and could make his debut in the Yorkshire derby against Leeds at the weekend.

Soccer - Capital One Cup - Second Round - Derby County v Charlton Athletic - iPro Stadium Best was at Derby last season but has struggled with injuries. Nigel French Nigel French

Best could also be involved at Elland Road as he looks to resurrect his career following a number of lengthy periods on the sideline.

The forward made seven appearances for Ireland but has consistently found the net during spells with Newcastle United, Derby County, Blackburn Rovers and Brighton and Hove Albion.

Paul Green is also on the books at Rotherham, who currently sit bottom of the Championship having won just two of their 16 outings this campaign.

Meanwhile, former Ireland goalkeeper Paddy Kenny has cancelled his contract at Bury just 13 days after joining the club.

Kenny left Ipswich last season and signed a short-term deal with Bury as injury cover but has decided to leave after sustaining a calf injury.

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