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Ryan leaves Pats to join Stevenage Irish contingent

FORMER Ireland youth cap Darragh Ryan has quit the League of Ireland and signed for English non-league side Stevenage Borough.

The defender (pictured), a son of former Ireland international Gerry Ryan, previously had spells with UCD and Cork City and spent last season with St Patrick's Athletic, making 23 league appearances for the Saints.

But new Pats boss Pete Mahon is building a new-look side for the 2010 season and Ryan is one of a number of players who has been allowed leave: Gary Dempsey has moved to English League Two side Darlington, Declan O'Brien moved to Maltese side Valletta, while Enda Stevens (Shamrock Rovers), Brendan Clarke (Sporting Fingal) and Alan Cawley (Dundalk) joined other LOI clubs.

Ryan will see some familiar faces at Stevenage as former Cork City team-mate Darren Murphy has been there for the past 12 months while ex-Bohemians keeper Ashley Bayes is also on the books.

Pats last week made their fifth signing of the close season with the arrival of Ian Bermingham from Shamrock Rovers, following the earlier captures of David McAllister, Conor Sinnott, Gareth Coughlan and Brian Cash. Pats have also expressed an interest in Derry City winger Liam Kearney.

Connor new Galway boss

SEAN CONNOR is back in football just months after leaving Dundalk as the Belfast man has been appointed as the new manager of Galway United.

Galway were on the lookout for a new boss following Ian Foster's decision to quit and take up the job at Dundalk, and now the pair have effectively swapped clubs.

Connor had been linked with jobs in Africa and Malta after his exit from Dundalk but, after a two-month search, Galway have opted to bring him to Terryland Park. Galway will be Connor's fourth club in five years as he previously managed Sligo Rovers and Bohemians as well as Dundalk.

Connor will get to work straight away in assembling a squad as Galway have already lost forward Aaron Greene to Peterborough United, while other United players like John Russell, Vinny Faherty and Shane Guthrie are wanted by other clubs.