Ex-Birmingham and Derry City striker Ronan Hale signs for Crusaders

Ex-Birmingham City striker Ronan Hale pictured with manager Stephen Baxter at Seaview after signing for the Shore road side for two and a half years.''Photo by Stephen Hamilton/Presseye
Ex-Birmingham City striker Ronan Hale pictured with manager Stephen Baxter at Seaview after signing for the Shore road side for two and a half years.''Photo by Stephen Hamilton/Presseye

FORMER Derry City striker, Ronan Hale will join his older brother Rory at Seaview after signing a two-and-a-half year deal with Irish champions, Crusaders.

The Republic of Ireland U21 frontman left Championship club, Birmingham City by mutual consent and links up with former Derry City teammates, Rory Patterson and Gerard Doherty at the north Belfast club and goes straight into the squad for Friday night’s trip to Newry City.

Hale netted 10 goals during his season long loan spell with the Candy Stripes, including a hat-trick on his Brandywell bow against Limerick and the winning goal in the second leg UEFA Europa League tie against Dinamo Minsk in Belarus.

The Belfast lad also netted in the EA Sports Cup final against Cobh Ramblers at the Brandywell as he went on to lift his first senior trophy.

It’s understood Derry boss, Declan Devine was keen on bringing Hale back to the club for the 2019 Airtricity League campaign but the player preferred a move to Seaview where he will once again team up with his brother as the Irish League club go in search of a league and cup ‘double’ this season.

Stephen Baxter is delighted to have got Ronan stating: “I am excited to add Ronan to an already superb set of strikers. He is a lad that has it all from strength, speed and an eye for goal and supporters are in for an absolute treat when they see him play.

“He has teamed up with his brother Rory with whom he played with at Derry City and of course he will know Gerard and Rory Patterson also. All have played together and that will help them a lot.”

Ronan on his arrival said: “I am very pleased to come back to Crusaders and would like to thank Stephen and the club for showing faith in me on signing me back.

“I cannot wait to get going now and I know I have a job to do to hold down a spot but I want to show everyone what I can do. To play alongside Crusaders record goalscorer in Jordan Owens and a professional like Rory Patterson will only help me develop also.”