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St Patrick’s Athletic have announced three vital re-signings for next season as Graham Kelly, Conan Byrne and captain Ian Bermingham have all committed to another year in Inchicore.
The news is sure to delight St Pat’s fans who endured a nerve-shredding relegation battle for almost the entirety of last season.
Bermingham and Byrne, in particular, have been stalwarts of the Emmet Road club and will be entering their eighth and sixth seasons at the club respectively.
Kelly, formerly of Bray Wanderers and Derby County, will embark on his third campaign in a St Pats jersey.
Even at 32 years of age, retaining the services of Byrne will be huge for the Camac faithful. In a season where the lows heavily outweighed the highs, Pats' number seven was a beacon of hope.
His ability to light up games, particularly with his long-range striking ability, often provided light relief for fans. His effort from his own half in Dalymount against Bohemians was voted Soccer Republic’s goal of the season.
Bermingham’s re-signing too is important. The club captain staying on will help manager Liam Buckley bring a stability that was often missing last season. Bermingham’s experience will be vital in the development of younger players like the impressive Darragh Markey.
Having survived the threat that three relegation places brought last year Buckley will be eager for his team push on given the little extra breathing space they have this season.
Retaining these three players means he’s off to a good start.