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Saturday 1 October 2016

Hughton happy to finally get his man

Shane Duffy
Shane Duffy

Brighton boss Chris Hughton says he's glad that persistence has paid off after his club finally secured the signing of Ireland defender Shane Duffy.

The Seagulls have smashed their transfer fee by signing Duffy from Blackburn Rovers in a £4.5million deal, a significant profit for Blackburn on a player they bought from Everton two years ago.

But Blackburn retain a strong Irish presence as they have filled the void left by Duffy by signing two Irish defenders, Derrick Williams from Bristol City and current U21 cap Tommie Hoban from Watford.

"I'm delighted that our perseverance has finally paid off and we've completed the signing of Shane; he's an excellent addition for us," says Hughton, who has been tracking Duffy for some time.

"He has a lot of experience for his age, having played in the Premier League, Championship, Europa League and international football for Ireland.

"He's a very good defender, and alongside our existing options he now gives me four quality, senior options for the two central defensive positions."

Hoban, 22, caught the eye when he broke into the Watford first team as a teenager and he helped the Hornets win promotion to the Premier League, but he has been dogged by injury and made just one appearance in the last two seasons.

Still eligible at U21 level, Hoban hopes his career can now progress away from Vicarage Road, as he's off to Blackburn on a season-long loan deal. "I'm delighted to be here, I can't wait to get started now," he said.

"It all happened quite fast. This time yesterday, I wasn't even sure I'd be going out on loan.

"I'm hoping to help the team as much as I can, I had a tough time last year with injuries and I was hoping to get back playing.

"To come to a club of the calibre of Blackburn is massive, I'm really happy to be here.

"I'm confident, I feel good now and and hopefully I can have a good season personally and for the team as well."

Waterford lad Williams moves to Ewood Park on a three-year deal after a spell with Bristol City.

"As soon as Owen Coyle rang me, I knew I wanted to play for Blackburn Rovers," says the former Aston Villa player. It is a massive club, I want to come here and work hard and do my best for the team and help us get up that table."

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