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Kearns excited by Dundalk deal

BELFAST boy Daniel Kearns can concentrate on his club career thanks to his move to Dundalk after a difficult few months for the striker.

The 19-year-old signed a short-term deal with the Co Louth side until the end of the season, and he could make his debut against UCD tonight if international clearance comes through for the former West Ham man.

Kearns was at the centre of an international tug of war last month as the Irish FA took a case against the FAI over what they saw as the Republic's "poaching of the Belfast lad", the IFA claiming that Kearns was not eligible to play for the Republic as neither the player nor his parents have a connection with the Republic.

Kearns and the FAI won as the Court of Arbitration for Sport sided with the FAI, and there was more relief for Kearns as he managed to find a club, Dundalk.

"I'm delighted to have signed here," Kearns said. "I'm looking forward to getting some football and playing some matches at a competitive level, so I'm happy to be here. One of the scouts that brought me over to West Ham gave me Ian Foster's number. It's a decent setup here and it's a good club. It's a good opportunity for me."