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SOUGHT-AFTER KELLY TO JOIN BANTAMS

12 December 2022

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Bradford City AFC has agreed a deal in principle to sign Irish defender Ciarán Kelly - on a contract until the summer of 2025.

The 6ft 3ins centre-back arrives at the University of Bradford Stadium following the expiry of his contract at Bohemians, at the end of the Irish season.

Kelly, 24, began his professional career at St Patrick’s Athletic in 2015, where he returned after a spell with Drogheda United, before moving to Bohs in 2020.

He featured 74 times in total for the Dublin outfit, including in 34 of their 36 2022 Irish Premier Division matches, as well as turning out in the UEFA Europa League.

Kelly said: “It feels great to be here. This is a massive club, and I am determined to play a part in its history.

“I am a defender who likes to play out from the back, but am not afraid of putting in a hard challenge when I need to as well.

“I have been in Ireland for a number of years now, and had success at the clubs I have been at. I have played in finals and big games in Europe, but have come here to stamp my authority on the English leagues and be a part of something special.

“I always want to challenge myself, and see this as the next step up in my career. Hopefully, I can achieve great things here.

“I have been to a few games already and witnessed the atmosphere at a big game. The supporters are right behind the club, and looking around at the stadium fills me with excitement. I cannot wait to kick on, get on the pitch and hopefully do the fans proud.”

City manager Mark Hughes said: “We are pleased to be welcoming Ciarán to the club, as the first of our January signings.

“He is a player who has attracted a lot of interest from teams at this level and above, but had his heart set on joining us here at Bradford City.

“We have been monitoring Ciarán for a number of months, and have travelled over to Ireland to meet with him and his family who were all very excited about the move.

“He is a left-sided centre-half who is fiercely competitive but also fits in well to the style of play we have adopted.

“He will start training with his new team-mates this week, as we look forward to introducing him properly to the action in the New Year.”

Ciarán Kelly will begin training with the Bantams this week, and officially join the club - subject to international clearance - when the transfer window opens on January 1. He will be sponsored by RMA Systems for the remainder of the season.


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