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Rovers sign defender Jay McGrath on two-and-a-half year deal

4 January 2024

Club News

Rovers sign defender Jay McGrath on two-and-a-half year deal

4 January 2024

Rovers are delighted confirm the signing of defender Jay McGrath from St Patrick’s Athletic.

The 20-year-old has signed a two-and-a-half year deal after spending time on trial with Rovers before Christmas.

An agreement has been reached with the Saints for the free transfer of the left-footed centre back, who will be eligible to make his Rovers debut in Saturday’s trip to Harrogate Town subject to international clearance. 

McGrath is the son of former midfielder John, who played for Rovers for 18 months between 2003 and 2005. The family remained in Doncaster with Jay spending his early football life in the Rovers Academy and attending Hill House School.

“I’m delighted to be back,” he said. “The club is going in the right direction. I spoke to the gaffer and the coaching staff and I’m delighted to be here.

“He’s seen me play so he expects me to come in and do what I can do. He wants me to form good partnerships at the back and in front of me. I’m looking forward to doing that.”

Rovers manager Grant McCann said: “We’ve been actively looking for a left-sided centre half and we had a lot of options but Jay is definitely the one we feel is the best option for us at this moment in time.

“He’s young, he wants to learn. He’s a good player - 6ft 3, strong, physical and can handle the ball. There’s lots of development in him.

“I think it’s a real coup for the football club and the future of the club.”

McGrath was snapped up by Coventry City as a 17-year-old after impressing at Mickleover Sports.

He joined St Patrick’s on loan in February 2023 and later saw the deal made permanent until the end of the League of Ireland season following the expiry of his contract with the Sky Blues.

McGrath made 32 appearances for the Saints - alongside fellow Rovers new boy Conor Carty - and was part of the squad for the FAI Cup final win over Bohemians in November. He also featured in a UEFA Europa Conference League qualifier against Luxembourg side F91 Dudelange.

While with the Dublin-based side, McGrath received a call-up to represent Republic of Ireland U21.

McGrath will wear the number 25 shirt for the remainder of the season.

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