St Patrick's Athletic are happy to announce the signing of 24 year old defender Derek Foran ahead of the 2014 season.
Foran joins the league champions having played for Shamrock Rovers in 2013, while he has amassed over 100 appearances in the League of Ireland having also had spells with Bray Wanderers, Sligo Rovers and Dundalk.
Foran previously was on the books of the Saints having impressed at underage level, and eventually being promoted to train regularly with the first team squad between 2006 and 2008. Foran failed however to make an appearance at senior level, the closest opportunities coming having been included on the bench in the Saints' away defeat to Odense of Denmark in the Uefa Cup in 2007 and the Saints' 2007 FAI Cup quarter-final defeat to Bohemians.
The Dubliner was capped for the Republic of Ireland at U18 level while still playing for the Saints – Foran represented his country in teams alongside current Saints' full-back Ian Bermingham in both 2006 and 2007.
Speaking to stpatsfc.com having completed his first training session with the club on Sunday morning, Foran spoke of his happiness at joining the Saints for a second spell.
"I've always wanted to come back to the club having come all the way up through the schoolboys and be involved with the first team so it was always something I was dying to do, so yeah I'm absolutely delighted to be back now.”
During his time with Sligo, Foran won back to back FAI Cups in 2010 and 2011, while also claiming an EA Sports Cup winners medal from the 2010 season with the Bit O'Red. Meanwhile in 2013, Foran played a part in each of Shamrock Rovers' successes in the Setanta Sports Cup, EA Sports Cup, and Leinster Senior Cup.
Speaking about the experience gained since leaving the club in 2008, Foran admitted that he now comes back to the club as a better player and significantly more experienced.
“Winning the cups with Sligo, then the fight to avoid relegation with Dundalk and then last year at Rovers wasn't the best – but it was all massive experience for me," Foran told stpatsfc.com. "I've learnt an awful lot over the past few years and coming back to Pats now, who are obviously defending champions now, it will all benefit me. I'm confident now and I'm just really raring to go.”
Foran, who was on trial in Scotland with Hamilton Academicals recently, is the 21st player signed by Liam Buckley ahead of the 2014 season, as he competes with Kenny Browne, Ken Oman and Seán Hoare for a place in the heart of the Saints' defence. Despite the competition for places in Liam Buckley's squad being so tough, Foran still expressed the belief that it is a challenge to look forward to.
“We've a great group of lads, it's something you notice straight away when you walk into the dressing room. The competition throughout the squad is everywhere, from the defence to the strikers. It really is what you need, but it's also healthy competition.”
“No one is going to be bitter if they don't get in – you know it's that kind of squad where people will wish whoever gets in ahead of them all the best. Personally I'm just really excited to get going and I can't wait until the pre-season is over and the season starts.”
Foran's first opportunity to make his first team début could come against a former side in Stephen Kenny's Dundalk side, and the Dubliner admitted to wanting to get his first game under his belt as soon as possible.
“Yeah we've Dundalk up first, Ballinamallard in the Setanta and then Sligo after that. You wouldn't really want any more games or anything more competitive then that before the season.”
“I think they're great games to get us straight back into things. We know Dundalk and they've strengthened their squad too, while Ballinamallard is kind of going into the unknown in a way so both games will really test us. It's ideal for what we need at this time of the year.”
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