Dundalk have made their second signing in as many days with the acquisition of promising young Bohemians winger Daniel Kelly, who has penned a two-year deal with the Lilywhites.
After taking the SSE Airtricity League by storm in the second half of last season whilst at Bohs, he had looked destined for a cross-channel move to English Championship side Bolton Wanderers.
He lined out for Bolton’s U23 side, playing 75 minutes in a Professional Development League fixture just under two weeks ago, but a move fell through due to the club’s current financial predicament.
Dundalk, who just one day earlier announced the signing of ex-Wolverhampton Wanderers goalkeeper Aaron McCarey, swooped in to sign Kelly despite interest from Shamrock Rovers.
“I am buzzing, I am delighted to get the deal confirmed and everything sorted. It has been a mental couple of weeks for myself and it has been a hectic few months,” Kelly told the club’s official website.
“I was still playing amateur this time last year. I got my move to Bray Wanderers and then on to Bohemians so it all kicked off there. I can’t wait to get going now.
“The main reason I have come here is to win trophies. I have come to the best club in Ireland and we want to show that next year.
“I want to be a massive part of that. Hopefully we can make Oriel Park a fortress and do well in Europe too.”
Vinnie Perth will be named as Dundalk’s new head coach in the coming days alongside John Gill, who will come in as first-team coach, and the former expressed his delight regarding Kelly’s transfer.
“Daniel is a good young player. He is someone that we feel that we can develop. Full-time football is the next stage in his progression,” said Perth.
“Credit has to go to Bray Wanderers for giving him his chance in the League of Ireland and also to Bohemians who gave him a chance to further his development in the summer.
“We feel that a full-time environment will help him. It’s up to him how good he wants to be but we feel that we can help him to the next stage in his career.”
Kelly started his career in the humble surroundings of Ringsend Rovers before moving to Crumlin United, where he coincidentally played against Dundalk in an FAI Cup tie at Oriel Park in 2016.
He remained in the Leinster Senior League as recently as last year, plying his trade with St Patrick’s CY before Dave Mackey brought him into the SSE Airtricity League with Bray Wanderers in 2018.