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No Bray farewell for promising teen duo as Brighton deals confirmed

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Andrew Moran in action for Ireland U16s in a friendly against Australia. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Andrew Moran in action for Ireland U16s in a friendly against Australia. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

Andrew Moran in action for Ireland U16s in a friendly against Australia. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Promising Bray Wanderers youngsters Andrew Moran and Leigh Kavanagh have played their final games for the club after formally completing moves to Brighton.

The teenagers had signed pre-contract agreements with the Premier League side before the start of the League of Ireland First Division season. But it had been anticipated that the pair would gain further experience at senior level before the Covid-19 shutdown put a halt to proceedings.

The highly rated duo officially became Brighton players on July 1 and are therefore not eligible to play any more games before they go across the water.

They are training with Bray at the moment due to Covid-19 restrictions, but it is anticipated that they will leave for England before the end of this month all going to plan.

Moran is a skilful playmaker who became Bray's youngest ever player at 15 years and 307 days when he made his debut last August.

He scored his first senior goal in the league win over Wexford on February 28, not realising it would be his final league appearance for the Seagulls.

Quality

Centre-half Kavanagh (16) also featured in that game having advertised his quality through pre-season.

The talented pair came through the St Joseph's Boys/Bray academy and it is understood that Brighton have paid compensation for Moran and Kavanagh that will be reinvested into that area.

Meanwhile, Sligo Rovers and St Patrick's Athletic are keen on Derry City winger Jamie McDonagh who looks set to follow Norwegian striker Tim Nilsen out the exit door.

Nilsen returned to Derry after the shutdown, but club staff were unhappy with his weight and a deal was struck that has allowed him to join a lower league side in his native land.

McDonagh now also appears to be surplus to requirements with both Sligo and the Saints looking to speak with the 24-year-old.

The former Northern Ireland U-21 international had a brief spell with Sligo before joining Derry in the winter of 2017. He also has options in the Irish League, with Linfield and Glentoran in the frame.

Derry will play Dundalk in a behind-closed-doors friendly at Oriel Park on Friday. Champions Dundalk have arranged games with fellow European qualifiers Derry and Bohs to help the clubs get up to speed as UEFA business draws closer.

The managers feel that however many games they play after the July 31 restart, it will not be enough to bring them up to the necessary level to meet overseas opposition - with a number of likely opponents well ahead in terms of match practice.

Irish Independent