St Patrick's Athletic are delighted to announce the signing of Republic of Ireland international midfielder Keith Fahey ahead of the 2014 season.
Fahey, who turns 31 in January, has had two previous spells with the club under former managers Eamonn Collins and John McDonnell, making 191 appearances and scoring an impressive 31 goals from midfield.
Speaking exclusively to stpatsfc.com, Fahey outlined his happiness at rejoining the club following his time in England. “I'm delighted with the prospect of coming home and to be back at the club. I really enjoyed my time here before so I'm now just looking forward to get back playing football.”
“I was offered various deals from other clubs and ones which were financially a lot better, but I've come back here because of the great loyalty I've always received. Both the fans and the club have always been great to me, and the stability of the club behind the scenes really made me want to come back and play my football in Inchicore again.”
Fans' favourite Fahey was a standout player in the Saints' side for the six years he spent with the club previously. It was the Dubliner's role in previous European games over the years however that caught the eye of many plaudits, in particular the Saints' 2008 campaign which saw both JFK Olimps and IFK Elfsborg defeated, before German giants Hertha Berlin knocked out Pats.
The 4-3 aggregate victory over Swedish side Elfsborg featured impressive performances by both Fahey and Saints' striker Mark Quigley, who are now reunited in Inchicore this year having been both signed by Liam Buckley.
Having previously played with Arsenal and Aston Villa in his teenage years, Fahey transferred to Football League Championship side Birmingham City from the Saints in December 2008. Shortly after arriving, Fahey established himself in Alex McLeish's Birmingham side and played a key role in their push for promotion. Fahey's importance in the side was underlined after scoring a vital goal on the final day of the season against Reading to ensure the Blues reached the Premier League.
While excelling at club level, Keith was also impressing at international level as he received his first Irish international cap in May 2010 in a friendly against Paraguay in the RDS. Fahey has gone on to make 16 internaional caps, scoring his first goal for Ireland just eight minutes into his first competitive appearance.
Fahey played two seasons in the Premier League for the Blues before Birmingham's relegation back to the Championship at the end of the 2010/2011 season. The season proved a year of mixed emotions as Fahey and Birmingham won the 2011 Carling Cup Final against Arsenal in Wembley, before suffering the heartbreak of relegation months later. Fahey remained with Birmingham for a further two seasons, before leaving the club in May 2013.
Fahey, who now enters into his third spell for the Saints, is the sixth close season recruit made by Liam Buckley ahead of the 2014 season and will be looking to make his 2014 competitive debut in the Saints' colours in the Setanta Sports Cup 1st leg game against Ballinamallard United on 24 February.