Long, Doyle and Duffy among Ireland internationals to move in transfer window

There were plenty of Irish players making moves in Britain and abroad; here Goal takes a look at what players hopped on the transfer merry-go-round
By Ryan Kelly

In what was undoubtedly the most high profile move involving an Irishman this summer, Shane Long joined Southampton from Hull City for a reported fee of £12 million. Saints boss Ronald Koeman hailed the Tipperary native's "ambition and great mentality" and expects the striker to live up to his fee.

Elsewhere, Long's former Reading team-mate Kevin Doyle secured a move to the Premier League, albeit temporarily, as he joined Crystal Palace on a loan deal from Wolverhampton Wanderers until January. However, going in the opposite direction, Shane Duffy swapped Everton for Blackburn Rovers in the hope of securing regular first-team football. "It's all about developing as a player," explained Duffy. "The more I play football, the more I'll get better and coming here gives me that opportunity." Hull City bolstered their Irish contingent with the addition of Brian Lenihan from Cork City for an undisclosed fee.

Meanwhile, retired Ireland international Steven Reid remained in the Premier League after securing a free transfer to Burnley, a move Stephen Ward replicated in August. Samir Carruthers, on the other hand, chose to drop divisions in search of regular game-time, leaving Aston Villa in favour of a permanent move to MK Dons. Northern Ireland international Will Grigg also moved to the League One outfit and has flourished since joining on loan from Brentford.

Simon Cox returned to Reading from Nottingham Forest for an undisclosed fee, while former Ireland Under-21 international Joe Mason joined Bolton Wanderers in a loan deal from Cardiff City. Another Irish youth international, Mark O'Brien, went north to Scotland, joining Motherwell on loan from Derby County, while Conor Sammon left the Rams behind in order to join Mick McCarthy's Ipswich Town on a temporary deal.

Former Derby and Leeds United midfielder Paul Green joined Rotherham United on a free transfer, while Keiren Westwood opted to join Sheffield Wednesday on a free after his contract expired at Sunderland. Westwood's fellow goalkeeper Stephen Henderson also secured a move to the Championship, joining Charlton Athletic after a spell at West Ham. Ireland international Anthony Pilkington was also on the move, the winger opting to swap Norwich City in favour of a move to Cardiff, while Watford secured the signing of goalkeeper Rene Gilmartin from St Patrick's Athletic. Shelbourne youth Adam McDonnell also jumped the Irish Sea, joining Ipswich Town.

In June, former Ireland international Damien Duff moved from Fulham to the unfamiliar terrain of Australia, where he joined Melbourne City. The former Newcastle and Chelsea winger followed in the path of Andy Keogh in moving 'Down Under', with Keogh having joined Perth Glory in May. Stephen Gleeson and Gavin Gunning joined Birmingham City from MK Dons and Dundee United respectively. Joe Murphy, meanwhile, joined Huddersfield Town on a free transfer and former Arsenal youth Conor Henderson moved from Hull City to Crawley Town.

Keith Andrews moved to Watford on loan from Bolton Wanderers, while Tottenham Hotspur's Republic of Ireland youth international Kenny McEvoy joined Peterborough United on a temporary deal. Ireland international Leon Best also moved on loan, leaving Blackburn to link up with Steve McClaren's Derby County. Anthony O'Connor followed Best out of Ewood Park, joining Plymouth Argyle temporarily. Alan Sheehan signed on at Bradford City after leaving Notts County on a free.

Veteran Northern Ireland international Aaron Hughes, meanwhile, joined Brighton and Hove Albion on a free, while former Derry City and Celtic midfielder Paddy McCourt also joined the Seagulls.