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Saints hope to hold on to Hoare

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Sean Hoare,

Sean Hoare,

Liam Buckley, St Patrick's Athletic manager

Liam Buckley, St Patrick's Athletic manager

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Sean Hoare,

LIAM Buckley says he expects to see highly-rated defender Seán Hoare in the St Patrick's Athletic shirt in the new season despite cross-channel interest in the Ireland U21 cap.

Hoare, who played in the Champions League for the Saints last season and also helped them win the FAI Cup, has been tracked by a number of British clubs. He had a trial at Hull City before Christmas and was recently linked with a move to League One outfit MK Dons.

The Saints are prepared for potential bids before the transfer window closes next Monday but manager Buckley expects the FAI Cup holders to retain the U21 cap.

"We haven't had any offers in, if we do get a formal offer made then we will deal with it and assess it," Buckley says.

"There has been a lot of speculation about Seán but that's all been in the media. Nothing official has come in from any club. He was at Hull for a while on trial but nothing else concrete has emerged.

"It's a strange situation over in England and things can happen at a very fast rate, but as things stand now, I would expect Seán Hoare to be with us for the new season in March."

The defender established himself in the Saints side last season, having been on the fringes of the league title win in 2013. He also stepped up at international level last year, making his U21 debut against Russia in November alongside Lee Desmond, a defender who moved to Pats from Shelbourne at the end of last season. Buckley has been relatively quiet on the transfer front with only the Shamrock Rovers trio of Jason McGuinness, Ciarán Kilduff and Conor O'Malley coming in apart from Desmond.

"In terms of the squad, we have most of our business done, we have 21 signed and we might have room for one more," says Buckley, who is still in talks with the out-of-contract Mark Quigley.

"Mark had a back operation since the end of last season but we are still in touch," added the Saints manager. "He is a very good player and a good lad but we have to make sure he is right in terms of his fitness."

Keith Fahey (now Shamrock Rovers) was the main departure from Pats over the off-season while the Saints have released Ken Oman (who was linked with a move to Limerick), Lorcan Fitzgerald (now Bohemians), Peter Durrad (now Bray) as well as Daryl Kavanagh and Derek Foran.


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