Healy completes move to Tractor Boys

COLIN HEALY last night signed a two-year deal with Roy Keane’s Ipswich Town and will be unveiled later this morning after moving to the Championship side for a reported €70,000 fee.

Healy had been speaking to Hartlepool United about a possible move before Ipswich stepped in on Tuesday to try and snatch the former Republic of Ireland international.

Healy who started his career at Celtic and went on to play for Sunderland, Livingston and Barnsley before joining his hometown club in 2007, had a trial with Ipswich in 2006.

After Sunday’s 2-0 friendly defeat at Turner’s Cross, Keane had dismissed suggestions he was still interested in the Leesiders’ star.

But he told local media in Ipswich yesterday that a strong central midfielder was needed in his squad.

“After the game I took stock and thought about what I need. I know he is a very good character and he will add a bit more steel to the spine of our team,” Keane said.

“I have played against him a few times and know what he can do.

“He has played 20 or so games this season so he will be ready to come straight in and I look forward to him coming in.”

Meanwhile, in the League of Ireland Premier Division, Dundalk host Drogheda United in the Louth derby (kick off at Oriel Park 7.45pm).

Dundalk have a number of injury concerns going into the game with Liam Burns, Darren Mansaram, Michael Collins, Tiarnan Mulvenna and Michael McGinlay also battling to be fit. However, Michael Day is back in contention after suspension.

“We’re entering into this game in totally different circumstances than when we met Drogheda back in March,” said Dundalk boss Sean Connor. “We went into the game on the back of two defeats so there was a wee bit of tension but we’re on a very good run going into this one.”

Drogheda, by contrast, are seeking to bounce back from a loss to Bray after their own fine run of form.

“We won up in Derry and then got beaten by Bray,” said manager Alan Mathews, “but that’s football. We have some ex-Dundalk players in our squad and they have some ex-Drogheda players in theirs so it should be good occasion for both players and supporters.”

With Steve Williams having recovered from injury, Robbie Farrell is currently the only long-term injury for the Drogs.

Looking for another victory — and one which lifts them off the bottom of the table — Bray Wanderers play host to Galway United in the night’s other Premier Division game.

Defender Chris Deans and striker Paul Byrne remain out but otherwise manager Eddie Gormley has a full squad to choose from.

“I was delighted to get the three points last Friday,” says Gormley of the win in Drogheda. “It wasn’t a great performance but it was a battling performance and the lads were determined not to lose the lead they had gained. It will be a different game this week but the lads will be confident following last weeks result and will be looking for another three points.”

Meanwhile, Galway United confirmed yesterday that they have signed Sean Kelly — who’d been on loan at the club from Cork City — to a permanent deal at Terryland Park.

United welcome back Jay O’Shea and Shane Guthrie after suspension for the visit to Bray. Derek O’Brien could be in line for a comeback after featuring in the friendly against Millwall last Sunday.

Shane Fitzgerald is the only absentee for United, he’s recovering from a virus.

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