By Full Contact News and Views
Full Contact client Stephen Dooley is the second client of our Irish roster to transfer to an English Football League club this summer window, having signed a two-year contract at Rochdale.
Stephen, 26, has played the entirety of his career on both sides of the Irish border – from 2007 to 2014 at his hometown club Coleraine in Northern Ireland before completing successful spells in the Irish Premier League between 2014 and and 2017 at Derry City and Cork. Stephen scored 9 League goals in 53 League appearances during a hugely successful period at Cork which also included Europa League experience and – in 2017 – a League and Cup double. A talented wide player able to operate from either wing or in a central midfield role, Stephen benefits from a lot of experience.
In January of this year Stephen returned to Coleraine for a short spell, before making his dream move across to the EFL – the second Full Contact client this summer to do so, after Ronan Curtis’ move to Portsmouth.
Head of Full Contact’s Irish office Patrick Conliffe, pictured above with Stephen as he finalised his move to Spotland, “Some might have thought that aged 26, Stephen’s chance to move to the UK had passed, but in making the short-term move back to Coleraine in January – where the Northern Ireland season is in line with the English season – it opened up opportunities for Stephen that were perhaps not available to him whilst he was playing at Derry or, then, Cork. We have had clubs show interest in him for a while, so it is a huge reward for Stephen’s patience and determination to finally secure this opportunity at Rochdale.”
Full Contact’s senior partner Dan Chapman added “It is fabulous to see Stephen complete a move to England, concluding a strategy we have been working on for a good while. It is encouraging that we are starting to see more and more League clubs open their minds to the talent that is available in Ireland both sides of the border, and to complete our second Irish deal of the summer by June 1 builds on the very busy January window we had, too. There are so many talented players in Ireland, whether aged 16 or 26, and in a market where existing Football League players can be very expensive we are expecting to see yet more recruitment of this nature take place this summer.”
All at Full Contact wish Stephen Dooley the very best as he embarks on this next stage of his career.
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Full Contact News and Views includes articles contributed by Associates and professional contacts within the Full Contact team and includes opinion on sports law, PR and media, football agency and more.
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