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Major coup for St Pat’s as striker Eoin Doyle swaps Bolton for Richmond Park

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Eoin Doyle has signed with St Patrick's Athletic. Image credit: Sportsfile.

Eoin Doyle has signed with St Patrick's Athletic. Image credit: Sportsfile.

Eoin Doyle has signed with St Patrick's Athletic. Image credit: Sportsfile.

St Patrick's Athletic have completed the signing of Bolton striker Eoin Doyle, a major statement ahead of the new League of Ireland season.

Independent.ie revealed last week that the Saints were plotting an ambitious move for Doyle, who is first-choice striker with the League One side.

The 33-year-old was always keen on the idea of finishing his career back in Ireland and moving home with his family after a decade away and Doyle's relationship with new Saints boss Tim Clancy made the Inchicore club an attractive option.

However, the fact he had 18 months left on his contract was a significant obstacle and discussions with Bolton were required to make an exit possible.

Doyle played and scored in their League One match with Rotherham last Saturday, but the wheels were already well in motion to seal the Saints deal - Shamrock Rovers did make an enquiry about bringing the front man back to the club where he started his career but the Saints really pushed the boat out to ensure they got their man.

The well-travelled striker has scored eight times for Bolton this term after playing a big role in their promotion from League Two last season.

In the season before that, he was League Two's top scorer as he inspired a Swindon charge to move up a level.

A three-year deal from Bolton tempted him away to Swindon, yet he has opted to depart at the halfway point to relocate to his native Dublin.

It's understood that Doyle's contract will extend to three years if all options within it are activated.

He confirmed that a phone call from Saints owner Garrett Kelleher accelerated the deal.

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"I've got a very good relationship with the manager, we speak quite frequently and then I got a phone call from Mr Kelleher and everything moved real quick, I'm delighted to get it over the line," said Doyle.

"It (coming home) was something I always wanted to do. I didn't want to come back when I was too old and wouldn't have any value for the team I was playing for."

Clancy said: "You look back at Eoin's career and he has consistently scored goals at various levels and getting him back when we have is really exciting."

"We've got a young players in the squad and they'll be able to listen to Eoin and the experience he brings and he'll be able to develop them as well," added Clancy, who played with Doyle at Hibernian.

"He doesn't need a pre-season so we'll tailor the sessions he does to make sure he's ready to go when we kick off."

Dundalk have completed the signing of goalkeeper Nathan Shepperd from Brentford. Independent.ie reported earlier this week that the Wales U-21 keeper was in line for a permanent move to Oriel Park.


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