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Monday 18 December 2017

Paradise move the stuff of dreams for Derry's Duffy

Michael Duffy
Michael Duffy

FORMER Derry City man Michael Duffy says it's a "dream come true" to sign for Celtic as he supported the club as a boy.

The SPL champions yesterday unveiled Stuart Armstrong and Gary Mackay-Steven as their major signings just before the close of the transfer window, but they also secured the signing of Derry native Duffy.

The forward has been capped at U21 level by Northern Ireland but is reportedly open to an approach from the Republic, which is what happened with fellow Derry City product James McClean.

He will initially hook up with Celtic's reserve side but could soon make progress to the first team. And Duffy is pleased to have secured his move, which came after two trials and a long delay in negotiations between Derry and Celtic.

"It feels amazing. It's like a dream come true," Duffy said. "I came over here on trial just before Christmas and spent eight days here and saw two matches that I'd never been to before. It was brilliant.

"I'm now going to work hard and try my best to make an appearance for the first team and make the fans happy.

"This is the club I've always supported and this is huge for me," added Duffy, a key figure for Derry last season on their way to the FAI Cup final.

Duffy was just one of a number of players to head for Britain from the League of Ireland since the 2014 season ended.

Gearóid Morrissey (Cork City) and Rory Gaffney (Limerick) were on the bench for Cambridge United for their FA Cup tie with Manchester United last night while Lee-J Lynch moved to SPL side Hamilton.

Pat Hoban left Dundalk for Oxford United and has already made the first team while Seamus Conneely ended his time at Sligo Rovers with a move to Accrington Stanley.

Striker Ryan Manning was snapped up from Galway United by QPR after a number of clubs showed an interest, while Ipswich Town finally sealed a deal to bring in U21 cap Dylan Connolly, Ipswich having aleady signed Shels man Adam McDonnell last summer.

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