- Friday January 29th, 2021 @ 13:00
McNally Signs For League 1 Oxford
St Patrick's Athletic can confirm the transfer of Luke McNally to English League One side Oxford United for an undisclosed fee.
There was a high level of interest in Luke over the last 12 months, he has been an important player for St Pats and one who we did not want to lose, but Luke's ambition is to play in England and we did not want to stand in his way.
The 21-year-old defender played every minute of every league game during the 2020 League of Ireland season and was named St Patrick's Athletic Young Player Of The Year.
The Enfield native signed for our U19s from Drogheda United in the summer of 2017 and quickly progressed.
He signed his first professional contract in January 2019 before going on loan to Drogheda United.
He played a key role in their First Division promotion push under Tim Clancy that season, famously scoring a hat-trick against Cabinteely in the play-offs.
Luke returned to Richmond Park at the start of last season and he was an ever present during a shortened 2020 campaign, his good form saw him named in the Ireland U21 squad for a pre European qualifier training camp last September.
He is also an Ireland U19 international.
Along with his football, Luke has continued his education on an elite performance scholarship at our partner Maynooth University, studying a degree in International Business, which he will complete later this year.
He has also played for the Irish Colleges International team.
Luke, who will wear the number 4 jersey at his new club, told St Pat's TV of his delight at his move to Oxford, who are currently 11th in League 1, six points off the play-offs:
"I'm really happy to have signed for Oxford United and I can't wait to get going now! This is a big opportunity for me and one I'm really looking forward to. It's every kid's dream to move to England to play football. I've had good conversations with the manager (Karl Robinson) and I'm excited to see what the future holds for me."
Luke also spoke about his time at St Pats:
"I want to thank everyone at St Pats, and those at Drogheda United, for what has been a brilliant few years for me on and off the pitch. I've gained great experience and enjoyed every minute of my time at St Pats from the Academy into the first team and my loan at Drogheda too.
I'd like to wish Stephen O'Donnell, the staff, players, fans and everyone at the club the best of luck for the future. l'll be looking forward to watching the games on the streams and cheering Pats on from England!"
Head Coach Stephen O'Donnell has also been telling us about the news
"It's been a pleasure working with and developing Luke over the last year and we wish him all the best in his new adventure. He has done his business right and applied himself really well at St Pat's, and he now has an opportunity to go and persue his dreams in the UK. He has shown great potential, everyone from the club, myself, the staff, players and supporters wish him all the best and we'll be following his career closely."