One new signing for St Patrick's Athletic with two more staying in Inchicore

BY Stephen Doyle 21:39 Tuesday 5 December 2017, 21:39 5 Dec 2017

Thomas Byrne in action for Drogheda against Finn Harps last season - ©INPHO/Tommy Dickson

St Patrick's Athletic's squad building for the 2018 SSE Airtricity League season continues apace with the re-signings of Lee Desmond and Michael Barker and the addition of teenage winger Thomas Byrne.

Former Brighton and Hove Albion winger, Byrne, is a Republic of Ireland under-19 international and impressed with Drogheda last season, his first in the Irish top-flight.

"Thomas is a great talent," manager Liam Buckley told "He has represented Ireland at underage level and I know he had other options so I am delighted he decided to ply his trade in Inchicore next year.

"He has great pace and is always looking to attack and create.  He impressed in a young Drogheda team so we believe he can really hit form at St Pat's with the group we are putting together."

It will be a a third season for 24-year-old defender Barker next year while former Republic of Ireland under-21 international Desmond (22) re-signs for a fourth term.

Buckley feels he has some very promising players at his disposal for the new season.

"To date we have signed some really good players who know the League of Ireland.  I feel the new lads will complement that, while also continuing their development as they are all still very young.

"Michael Barker finished the season very strong and stepped up in some big games for us.  He has built up a lot of experience at Bray Wanderers and with ourselves in recent seasons and is still only 24 so I think he has a great platform heading into 2018.

"Everyone knows about Lee Desmond.  He is a superb footballer and is one of the best young defenders in the League of Ireland.  Lee had his best year for us just gone by, and there’s no reason why he cannot get better next season and help us have a great year."

The trio join club captain Ian Bermingham, Conan Byrne, Graham Kelly, Ryan Brennan and Dean Clarke who have also signed up for 2018 with the Super Saints.

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