23-year -old centre forward, Jamie McGonigle has smashed the Irish League transfer fee record in his move to Crusaders according to sources who spoke to the Belfast Telegraph .
The original record was held by Glenn Ferguson when Linfield paid 55k for him back in 1998. It is rumoured that Crusaders paid 5k more than that for McGonigle which makes him the most expensive player in the Irish League ever.
It was a fraught process with Coleraine refusing Crusaders advances for the young striker for quite a while before reaching an agreement last week. However Chairman of Coleraine FC, Colin McKendry said yesterday “We felt it was the right decision last week for Coleraine Football Club to accept the offer for Jamie from Crusaders.
“We had resisted the move for some time but, with Jamie in the last year of his contract with us, he could have signed a pre-contract elsewhere, so we had to do what was best for the club as a whole.
“Jamie is a fine young player and he is a loss but the offer was worth a lot of money. We will now look to try and find more talented young players, and we have shown we’re capable of doing that.”
Coleraine will need to use those funds quickly to sign young talent before the transfer window closes on the 31st August. They drew 1-1 in the season’s opening game against Cliftonville last Saturday so they will be looking for a win when they travel to the Oval this evening.
Crusaders boss Stephen Baxter is thrilled with his new prospect telling the media “He’s scored a lot of goals for a player of his age,” said Baxter.
“That’s the hallmark of a good centre forward and that’s what you pay good money for, to bring that quality to your club.
“I’ve watched him progress for a few years and he has developed into a strong, fast, quality centre forward, and there’s very few of them in Northern Ireland. We are hoping he will have a great career here.”
McGonigle could feature in tonight’s fixture against Warrenpoint which will take place Seaview due to technical difficulties with the floodlights at Milltown if he is match ready. He did train with the squad this week however, he picked up a knock which bruised his knee a couple of weeks back so Baxter will be following the advice of physio Brian Strain regarding his selection.
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