Football | Patrick McEleney confirms return to England

Football | Patrick McEleney confirms return to England
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Dundalk have confirmed the departure of Patrick McEleney.

The 25 year old playmaker has joined Oldham Athletic on a two-and-a-half year deal, and will link up with the League One outfit on the first of January.

McEleney emerged as the Lilywhites’ key player following the departures of Daryl Horgan, Ronan Finn and Andy Boyle, and scored 13 goals in 49 appearances for the Irish club.

His creativity and penchant for stunning goals made him a joy to watch in the SSE Airtricity League, and he was also a key performer in Dundalk’s thrilling European run.

McEleney had been linked with a host of clubs after an impressive campaign for Dundalk – who finished as runners-up to Cork City in the SSE Airtricty League – and says joining the Latics was “an easy decision”.

“It was an easy decision after I met the manager and I had been around the place,” he said.

“The style of play is going to suit me and I’m looking forward to getting started now.

“My first target is to get into the team and then after that I’ll take it from there.

“Getting into the team is the main thing because I can’t just expect to roll up and jump straight in, I need to get myself fit and get myself sharp but I back myself to do well.”

The move to Oldham marks McEleney’s return to English football, after he spent an unhappy three months with Sunderland before joining Derry City in 2010.

The former Black Cat has matured on and off the pitch since that short stint in Sunderland as a teenager, and Oldham boss Richie Wellens feels his new signing can add an extra dimension to the Latics.

“He’s two footed, he can go either way and he can dribble past players and I think we’ve lacked a bit of that,” Wellens said.

“We’ve got really good footballers who get in pockets of space and Patrick will give us a different dimension.

“He can go past players, he can score goals and he’s got good delivery as well.

“He’s a player that I’m looking forward to working with and he’s the type of character you want in the building.”

Oldham are currently 18th in League One after 24 matches, and are 11 points adrift of the play-off places.

McEleney will join up with the first team squad on January 1st.

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