Bohemians have ended weeks of speculation surrounding their proposed move for defender Stephen Paisley by securing his signature for the 2013 season.
The 29-year-old had reportedly been in talks with the Gypsies for the past month or so after deciding to leave Shelbourne after three years at Tolka Park.
The centre back was a popular figure at Shels, having led them to promotion from the First Division, as well as helping them to the FAI Cup final in 2011, and believes he can bring much-needed experience to the Dalymount Park outfit.
He said, “I played against Bohs last season with Shels and know that they have a lot of very good young players but you also need a bit of experience and hopefully I can bring that with me and help some of the younger lads along.
“Most of the players we have now are in their early 20s or younger and haven’t played a lot of League of Ireland football so it will be up to older heads like myself, Owen Heary and Dave Mulcahy to give a bit of guidance.”
Paisley began his career as a youngster at Manchester City and was involved in the Republic of Ireland U21 set up before returning home to join Longford Town. During his time with the Midlanders he secured successive FAI Cup winners’ medals in 2003 and 2004 but departed the club in 2007 to join St Pats. He left there two years later to join Sporting Fingal, where he completed an impressive trio of FAI Cup wins in 2009.
The Dubliner is very pleased to be joining Aaron Callaghan’s men and says that the move was always an easy one for him to make.
“I am excited about the move to Bohs,” he said. “I had another serious offer on the table when I left Shels but going to Bohs was an easy decision for me to make. They finished mid-table last season and we would like to improve on that and finish higher up so that has to be the aim. But with the budgets other clubs are working off, it would be very hard for a club like Bohs to mount a real challenge for the league. But we hope to get off to a good start and get ourselves into the top four or five and try go on a run in one of the cup competitions.”
Paisley is not Bohemians’ only signing this week though as they also completed the capture of 19-year-old full-back Dara Reynor who has previously been on the books at St Patrick’s Athletic and Monaghan United, among others, bringing their squad size up to 23.