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St Patrick’s Athletic swoop for Coventry defender Jay McGrath


St Patrick's Athletic manager Tim Clancy. Photo: Sportsfile

St Patrick's Athletic manager Tim Clancy. Photo: Sportsfile

St Patrick's Athletic manager Tim Clancy. Photo: Sportsfile

St Patrick’s Athletic have boosted their defensive options for the 2023 season with the loan signing of Coventry City centre half Jay McGrath.

With defenders like Ian Bermingham, Ben Curtis, Paddy Barrett and Barry Cotter no longer at the club, Saints boss Tim Clancy was eager to add some steel to his back line, and McGrath (19) has become their seventh pre-season signing, on loan from Coventry until June.

"I'd like to welcome Jay to St Pat's. We are probably a little bit short in the central defensive area, Jay is a very good young player, he's a good lad and very good physically, he's quite aggressive and is also a left footer, which will give us good balance in the team,” says Clancy.

“He'll give us another good option and he was in with us yesterday for the first time so we are looking forward to working with him."

Waterford FC have also been busy in recent days before the new term kicks off for their promotion challenge, with the capture of defender Ryan Burke on loan from Bohemians and the signing of striker Ronan Coughlan.

Coughlan was out of favour at St Patrick’s Athletic but Waterford, in the market for a striker after the loss of Phoenix Patterson, swooped to bring in the much-travelled forward.

“Hopefully I can bring goals, experience and much more to help get the club back to where it belongs,” Coughlan said.

“It’s been too long since I’ve had a proper chance to show what I can do when I’m given the opportunity. I’m extremely hungry for success and hopefully it will start on Friday night. First and foremost, we want to be right up there come the end of the season, we won’t shy away from that, we know where we need to be and what needs to be done in order to achieve that outcome. For myself personally, I want to help the team as much as possible on and off the pitch!”

Former Mansfield Town man Burke is keen to get first team football after a frustrating spell with Bohs last term. “The ambitions of the club and the club itself drew me to sign. I’ve spoken to players who have previously played at the club and they loved their time here,” he said.

“I had a good chat with the gaffer and heard how ambitious he was to take the club forward and I’m buzzing to be part of it. I’ve been in since Saturday and met the players and staff and everyone was very welcoming, and there’s some real quality in the squad. The facilities are unbelievable and there’s a great fan base too who I’m looking forward to playing in front of.”

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