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Monday 5 December 2016

Peers gears up for new Saints test

Buckley hopes to keep striker Fagan

Former Sligo Rovers captain Gavin Peers has joined St Patrick’s Athletic for the 2017 season
Former Sligo Rovers captain Gavin Peers has joined St Patrick’s Athletic for the 2017 season

Back home in Dublin after an 11-season stint on the west coast with Sligo Rovers, veteran defender Gavin Peers hopes to add more medals to his collection at his new home of Richmond Park.

And his new employers, St Patrick's Athletic, will this week make one last effort to keep key striker Christy Fagan at Richmond Park, even though Shamrock Rovers and Bray Wanderers are very keen.

Peers, 31, was the longest-serving one-club-man in the league, apart from Cork City keeper Mark McNulty, but his long service with Sligo Rovers has ended and he will line out in the red jersey of St Pat's next season.

"I leave Sligo with my head held high as I did well for the club and I am looking forward to the new challenge at Pat's, and a change," says Peers, who won all major honours in his time at the Showgrounds.

"I have come here to win things. As a player I want to win every game and every trophy, I have always had that approach and that won't change at Pat's.

"There is a good squad in place already, a lot of good young players, and if Liam Buckley gets to sign the players he is after, we will have a good side next year. Dundalk and Cork haven't been challenged for the last two years, it's time for someone to challenge them.

"I had been in talks with Sligo and I nearly re-signed so it was a tough decision to leave as I loved my time at Sligo.

"But it was time for me to move on for family reasons. I have been away from home since I was 15 and it was the right time to settle back home."

The Saints squad is likely to undergo some serious revision, though it's a boost for supporters that Conan Byrne has agreed a new deal, as have Ian Bermingham and Michael Barker.

St Pat's have been linked with former player Aaron Greene, Patrick Cregg and Killian Brennan. But they face a battle to hold onto Fagan as well as defender Sean Hoare, who is wanted by both Shamrock Rovers and Dundalk. Fagan has firm offers from Bray and Rovers but Buckley will meet him this week for fresh talks.

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