Shamrock Rovers have snapped up Republic of Ireland Under-21 defender Liam Scales from UCD.

The 21-year-old has spent the last four years with the Students, who were relegated from the Premier Division last month.

Scales was very close to moving to Bristol Rovers in August, telling RTÉ Sport he was in talks about a switch to the League One club before the transfer broke down.

He's played his part in the Ireland Under-21s' excellent start to their European Championship qualification campaign; the Boys in Green are top of Group 1 with seven games played. 

Scales now heads for Tallaght, and admitted the Hoops' FAI Cup final heroics ultimately won him over.

"I'm delighted to get it all done," he said.

"My time at UCD came to an end so it was time to move on, and for me, Shamrock Rovers are the best option.

"They're on the up and they’ve got a great crop of young players coming through. I was at the FAI Cup final and I saw how good that performance was and I just wanted to be part of something like that.

"Rovers played a Dundalk team that had won the league the last couple of years and they deserved to win that final. It was a great performance and that kind of swung it for me. Plus the history of the club and the stadium at Tallaght - I love playing there."

Boss Stephen Bradley believes he's acquired a ball-playing centre-half who'll fit in well.

"We've really liked Liam for quite some time," he admitted.

"I think he has a lot of attributes that fit the way we play so it’s a great match for Liam and the club.

"We spoke with him a few months back when he was with UCD, but these things take time and he was looking at every option available to him.

"He’s had a lot of interest from outside the league and that’s been going on for quite some time, so we’re delighted that he sees his future with us."