The League of Ireland has now officially slammed shut after a last-minute flurry of deals in the final two days of the window.
With clubs from the Premier and First Divisions having until Thursday night to assemble their squads for the 2018 season (or until July at least) there were a number of late deals to be done -though thankfully there wasn’t a yellow tie to be seen.
Of the top-tier sides, Derry City were among the most active. The Candystripes got the ball rolling with the signing of Niall Logue, a 22-year-old defender who was most recently with Ohio State University. Kenny Shiels followed this up with the arrival of Blackburn defender Jack Doyle on loan until June.
In further good news for the club, Derry City also confirmed that highly-rated right-back Conor McDermott has signed a new three-year deal to remain at the Brandywell until 2020.
✍️ | Conor McDermott Extends Contract Until 2020. #RAWA28 ?⚪
Read more ? https://t.co/TuTdXRrMWk
— Derry City FC (@derrycityfc) February 22, 2018
Newly-promoted Waterford also added two new players to their squad for the season. Goalkeeper Lawrence Vigouroux, previously with Tottenham and Liverpool and now with Swindon Town, has moved to the RSC on loan. So too has Courtney Duffus, the former Everton and Ireland U21 forward now registered at Oldham Athletic.
LOAN DEALS: Waterford FC is delighted to announce that the club has signed Lawrence Vigouroux and Courtney Duffus on loan subject to international clearance.
— Waterford FC (@WaterfordFCie) February 22, 2018
In another big development at the club, Techincal Director Pat Fenlon has stepped down from the role, and taken on a new job as a consultant to owner Lee Power.
Sligo Rovers, meanwhile, wrapped up a busy three days by also bringing a goalkeeper on loan from England. Mitchell Beeney, on the books of Chelsea’s development squad and a former England U19 international. Beeney joins fellow new signings Calum Waters (on loan from Kilmarnock) and Patrick McClean (on a two-year deal from Waterford), both of whom rocked up at the Showgrounds on Wednesday.
Don’t forget the #bitored take on Derry City on Friday night in Showgrounds.
Three new additions to the squad in 24 hours. Over 3,000 fans were with us last week, we hope to see you get behind Rovers again ?⚪️? pic.twitter.com/iqs75BfrPK
— Sligo Rovers (@sligorovers) February 22, 2018
Over at Shamrock Rovers, Fulham confirmed that the necessary paperwork had been completed in time for Sean Kavanagh’s move to Tallaght for an undisclosed fee. The 24-year-old Dubliner had been at Craven Cottage for seven years and made 20 Championship appearances for the club before departing for two loan spells in the last couple of seasons.
— Fulham Football Club (@FulhamFC) February 22, 2018
To the First Division next, and Cobh Ramblers recruited two new signings, both of whom have Cork City connections, to wrap up their 2018 business. Creative midfielder Denzil Fernandes, a former member of the Leesiders’ U19 squad, was the first one through the door on Thursday, with defender Pierce Phillips, who signed a professional contract at Turner’s Cross before being loaned out, following Fernandes to St. Colman’s Park on a temporary basis.
In addition, Ramblers also confirmed that Karl Caulfield has re-signed with the club for 2018.
NEW SIGNING – We’re delighted to announce the signing of Pierce Phillips (@Piercep98) on loan from @CorkCityFC. The highly rated defender/midfielder goes straight into Stephen Henderson’s squad for the league opener with Longford Town on Saturday. pic.twitter.com/rWsKEkjKoG
— Cobh Ramblers FC (@CobhRamblersFC) February 22, 2018
Galway United wrapped up what has been a hectic off-season of incomings and outgoings with the signing of Harrison Reeves, a 19-year-old midfielder who was on the books at Bristol City up until the end of last season.
With former Wexford striker Danny Furlong also arriving at Eamonn Deacy Park this week, manager Shane Keegan has put the finishing touches as his side look to bounce back into the Premier Division at the first time of asking.
✍️ | Shane Keegan has concluded his 2018 squad with the signing of English midfielder Harrison Reeves.
The 19-year-old former Bristol City academy player impressed in United’s 1-0 win against Shelbourne at Tolka Park last week.
— Galway United (@GalwayUnitedFC) February 22, 2018
The League of Ireland’s ‘big two,’ namely Cork City and Dundalk, also completed some business this week, but had their business done before the final day. The former signed Preston forward Michael Howard on loan until June, while the latter completed the signing of Nigerian striker Marco Tagbajumi, formerly of Stromsgodset in Norway.
With all clubs’ transfer business now fully taken care of, attention can now fully turn to the season at hand.
In this week’s episode of the Mixer Irish football podcast, we look back at last week’s season-opening Dublin derby and debate Graham Cummins’ controversial red card as we review and preview all of the latest League of Ireland action.