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Fenlon is delighted to bring back Cregg

Shamrock Rovers boss Pat Fenlon says he's delighted to have brought about the return home to Ireland of midfielder Patrick Cregg.

Cregg, 28, has spent the last 12 years in Britain but following his exit from SPL side St Johnstone in May he has decided to move home, agreeing a short-term deal with Rovers.

The joined Arsenal as a 16-year-old and managed to get first team experience under Arsene Wenger, making his debut for the Gunners in a League Cup clash with Everton in November 2004, the first of three appearances for the Gunners.

Released by Wenger in 2006 Cregg moved to Scotland, having spells with Falkirk, Hibernians, Morton and St Mirren. He returned to England in 2011 for an unhappy spell in League One with Bury but returned to Scotland with a move to St Johsntone, but the Perth side allowed him leave at the end of last season. He had a spell on trial at Southend United but Rovers boss Pat Fenlon has now managed to secure a deal for the former U21 cap.

"We had a bit of competition for Patrick so I am very pleased to get him," Fenlon told The Herald ahead of tonight's game away to Athlone Town, the Hoops waiting on international clearance for the new signing.

"I have been aware of him for some time, back when he was a schoolboy and you have to have something about you to get into the first team at Arsenal.

"I had followed his career and I know what he can do, he scored for St Johnstone against us when I was at Hibs last year so I know he's a threat. We have him until the end of the season and we will assess things then, but he is someone I would like to have on a long-term basis.

"He is a good footballer and a passer of the ball but he can mix it up as well and give a bit of a physical presence in the middle, he can give us something extra in midfield and that's what I am hoping for.

"I don't know if we can have him for the Athlone game tonight but he should be cleared to play against Bohemians on Monday if not.

"We know we will need to respect Athlone in order to get something from the game. I've seen them a few times and they are a good side. We need to give them the same respect we gave Derry last week.," said Fenlon.