Monday 26 June 2017

Saints hero Fagan explains Chesterfield snub decision

St. Patrick's Athletic striker Christy Fagan pictured with his SSE Airtricity / SWAI player of the month award for November 2014. Photo: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE
St. Patrick's Athletic striker Christy Fagan pictured with his SSE Airtricity / SWAI player of the month award for November 2014. Photo: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

St Patrick's Athletic striker Christy Fagan says that personal and professional satisfaction in Dublin drove his call to turn down a pay rise and a chance to join League One side Chesterfield.

The PFAI Player of the Year, who scored 27 goals for the Saints, including the winning brace in the FAI Cup final, rejected a firm offer from Paul Cook, opting instead to stay with the Inchicore club.

Fagan (25) says he is playing the best football of his career at Richmond Park and was happy to agree a new year deal. After travelling a lot in his youth, he is settled at home and recently bought a house in Finglas.

"Once the season was over, I went over to Chesterfield and Paul showed me around and offered me a contract," said Fagan yesterday after being named SSE Airtricity/SWAI Player of the Month for November on the back of his Aviva heroics.

"I told him I had to go home and think about it and speak to the family. In the end, I thanked him for the offer and told him at that time that it wasn't right for me. I came to the decision that I'm settled here and happy to stay."

Fagan would likely have replaced Eoin Doyle at Chesterfield in January, with the prolific ex-League of Ireland man expected to move on - Bristol City are leading the race for his signature and Millwall are also monitoring his position.

The St Pat's man is confident he could adapt to that level and shrugged off recent comments by Roddy Collins about the standard of the league. Collins claimed that Dundalk striker Pat Hoban's move to League Two side Oxford vindicated his criticism of general standards.

Saints boss Liam Buckley was not impressed. "Who is Roddy Collins anyway?" he scoffed. "With the greatest respect to him, he's a great fella but does his opinion matter to anybody?"

"We do have a lot good players here who could play in England. I know half a dozen off the top of my head that have had enquiries from English clubs."

Buckley is happy with his business this winter, with Keith Fahey's departure for Shamrock Rovers the only setback.

"We wish him well," he said. "He's a top player, he did really well - especially in the away game in Warsaw - but at the end of the day he's gone and nobody is irreplaceable."

Rovers announced their latest additions yesterday with Gavin Brennan (Drogheda) and Dave Webster (Bray) coming on board. Goalkeeper Barry Murphy has penned a two-year deal and his reserve Craig Hyland has also committed his future to Tallaght.

Meanwhile, champions Dundalk have announced the capture of well-regarded central defender Paddy Barrett from Galway.

They are also nearing deals to bring in Jake Kelly from Bray and local lad Shane Grimes from Drogheda United. Clarity on Richie Towell's future is expected when he returns from holiday in Mexico at the end of the week.

Irish Independent

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