Sligo Rovers have completed the signing of former Republic of Ireland underage captain Seamas Keogh from Southampton.
The 19-year-old spent the last three years with the Premier League side after moving from the Sligo academy.
Keogh was with the Under-23 Saints side and previously the Under-18s. He captained Ireland at Under-16 and Under-17 level.
He signed as a professional with Southampton in 2019 and rejoins Rovers on an 18-month deal.
Keogh has been training with the Bit O' Red this month and could feature this Saturday against Longford Town.
He said: "I grew up going to The Showgrounds every week so to be able to say I’m a first-team player is a fantastic feeling and a dream come true. It brings a lot of pride to me and my family so I’m delighted.
"It’s a great group as you can see by the results. Everyone has been very welcoming. Liam Buckley and the staff have been very good to me. It has made me feel like I’m back at home and made playing football again even better. For me going into a group which is pushing to win every game and play in big competitions is fantastic. It is what every player wants.
"Southampton was brilliant. I gained massive experience being over there at such a young age and played with some fantastic players. I really enjoyed my time there. I’m back now and I’m here to focus every day in training to make myself and the team better."
Sligo boss Liam Buckley said Keogh can ignite his career after returning from England.
The Bit O' Red are level on points with the leaders in the SSE Airtricity League at the halfway stage.
He said: "Seamas has a very bright future in the game. He is very good technically and really clever on the ball. We’ve had him in with us in training and we can see he is going to be a very good addition.
"He is just 19 and at the start of his career. He had a choice of whether to stay in England but he’s made the decision to come home. He has family, friends and a familiar club where he knows the opportunity is there for him. As well as that, he knows the ambition of the club and the team is going well which he can be part of and add to. I think he has that ambition as well.
"We see him as an offensive player, a great passer and a real 'baller. He comes straight into contention. He has been part of things for a while.
"It’s not easy to bring in players because we want ones who will add to the group and fit into the environment here. We’re still looking to strengthen if we can."
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