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St. Pat's recruit winger Jay McClelland for 2020 season

Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

03:50 8 Nov 2019


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St. Patrick's Athletic have completed their first signing of the close-season with Jay McClelland joining for the 2020 campaign. 

The 22-year old winger played in all-but-one of UCD's games in the SSE Airtricity Premier Division last season.

McClelland told Pat's digital team that he's glad to have his future decided quickly after completing his degree in Belfield, "Delighted to get it done - really soon as well so it helps me to concentrate straight on football.

"I've been at UCD for the past four years so trying to balance football and college has been very difficult, so to come in straight away and solely concentrate on football is a major plus for me".

The former Republic of Ireland U19 winger says Pat's boss Stephen O'Donnell played a major role in convincing him to move to Inchicore, "We just met up and I was kind of hooked straight away.

"The way he talked about the club, the way he talked about his ambitions and hunger suited me down to the ground."

McClelland says the rookie manager feels the Saints can challenge next season after their failed push for European football in 2019, "He [O'Donnell] talked about his style of play - obviously Pat's are very fond of keeping the ball on the ground, playing intricate passes, people dropping into the holes and trying to split defences.

"He obviously kind of lives by that rule as well. So for me coming in for UCD where we played football on the ground as well suits me down to the ground.

"He talked about how we're going to be obviously pushing for Europe this year and hopefully close the gap on the top two from last year.

"It kind of suited my ambitions as well, I'm very hungry to obviously succeed and be at the top."

McClelland says he's looking to improve his overall game at Richmond Park in the hope of becoming a regular starter.

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Jay McClelland League Of Ireland SSE Airtricity Premier Division St Patrick's Athletic St Pats Stephen O'Donnell Transfers UCD

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