- Wednesday June 7th, 2017 @ 17:15
Ryan Burke To Join Birmingham City
We are delighted to announce that St Patrick's Athletic U17 defender Ryan Burke has agreed to join Birmingham City.
The 16 year old will officially sign a two year contract with the Championship club in July.
He played his last game for us last Wednesday, as he captained our U17s to a 3-1 win over Bohemians.
Ryan will continue to train with the club as we assist him with his off season programme before he moves to the UK at the end of June.
'Burkey' spoke to StPatsFC.Com about his move.
"I'm really looking forward to it. I've been working towards a move to England for a few years and have really worked hard since I joined St Pat's last year, I'm delighted that the move has come off and I have a big two years ahead of me."
"I've improved hugely in my year at St Pat's. One of my main aims was to improve physically which I have thanks to the work with the strength and conditioning coaches, and of course all of the work on the pitch. I've also been taking a lot of the set pieces and managed to get some assists which has been another plus."
Ryan played for Crumlin United before spending four very successful seasons with St Joseph's Boys, he signed for St Pat's in July last year.
He started every game last season as The Saints finished top of the SSE Airtricity League U17 Northern Elite Division, and helped the team beat Waterford, Shamrock Rovers and UCD to win the overall league title.
The lads also made it to the Mark Farren Cup final, which they lost 2-0 to Bohemians.
Ryan has also started every game this season, as his St Pat's team sit at the top of the league table.
Manager Jamie Moore is delighted with Ryan's news.
"It's excellent news for Ryan. He's been fantastic since he joined us last July and is one of the best young professionals I've ever coached."
"Ryan lives his life like any young aspiring footballer should and fully deserves his move. He trains at 100%, is always on time and is always one of our best performers in training, in the gym and most importantly on the pitch."
"He's always one of the first at training and the last to leave, always has his post training snack, asks questions, knows the game and is a really down to earth lad and does everything he can to be a footballer."
"He has a big road ahead of him with lots on competition but I've a huge amount of confidence in him to continue to chase his dream, and hopefully achieve it at the highest level."
"Ryan is the perfect example for the rest of our young players to follow. He works hard, is dedicated, believes in himself and has excellent ability and application. They are the keys for getting on the road to being a professional footballer. He has shown all of them and more in abundance, and we'll be following his journey all the way and giving him any extra support that he needs."
Birmingham City's Carl McNally has also been speaking about their new signing.
"As a club, we would like to thank everyone at St Pat's and his former club St Joseph's Boys for making the transfer go through as smoothly as possible, and allowing Ryan this opportunity. Both clubs were easy to negotiate with and had Ryan's best interests at heart."
"Hopefully this can be the start of a great relationship between our two clubs."
Ryan finished by speaking about his time at St Pat's, and his hopes for the future.
"The banter and team spirit at St Pat's has been top class, we have a lot of funny lads in both the U17s and U19s which fakes us a family off the pitch. Everybody made me feel welcome from day one, I really it here at Pat's and I will miss it a lot, it's a great environment to be around."
"Moving to England is only really starting to sink in now to be honest. I've been used to living in Dublin and being around my friends and family. Trying to be a professional footballer is an opportunity I've always wanted and I'm going to work as hard as I can now and hopefully make the most of it."
WATCH our full interview with Ryan on our Facebook and Twitter pages now