New boy Ryan eyes Tannadice success

Aidan Fitzmaurice

FORMER Sligo Rovers captain Richie Ryan is determined to become the latest Irish success story at Dundee United.

The Tannadice Park club historically had a strong Irish connection -- they were set up by the Irish community in the city -- and they already had four Dublin-born players in their squad this season (Sean Dillon, Jon Daly, Willo Flood and Gavin Gunning).

But now Tipperary native Ryan has joined the Irish contingent there after he last night finalised a two-and-a-half year deal with the club.

Ryan, who captained Sligo Rovers to an FAI Cup success earlier this month, will start training with his new team-mates next month but will not be eligible to play for United until the transfer window opens in January.

But he's already preparing for life in the SPL, having already had spells in England (Sunderland and Boston United) and Belgium (Royal Antwerp).

"I'm over the moon, it's nice to know my future is here at Tannadice for at least the next couple of years and I'm looking forward to the challenge ahead," Ryan said.

"With the number of Irish lads already at the club, it'll be a little bit easier for me to settle in. The Irish lads who are here have done well and I know I can bring something to the squad here. I am looking forward to joining up with my team-mates in December."

United manager Peter Houston said: "Richie is a different type of midfielder to those already at the club. He is more of a sitting, defensive player who is strong in the tackle and can pass the ball. He is left footed as well, which adds to the balance of our midfield.

"Having played well in excess of 40 games this season for Sligo, he will now head home for a well-earned break before returning to training with us in late December with a view to making an impact on our squad in January."