DONAL McDERMOTT has joined Town from Manchester City – ending a two-year chase for Lee Clark.
As Leicester joined the list of clubs reportedly chasing wantaway winger Anthony Pilkington, 21-year-old attacking midfielder McDermott signed a Town contract through to 2013.
Boss Clark has been tracking the Irishman since he impressed against his team in a Johnstone’s Paint Trophy tie when on loan to Chesterfield in 2009.
McDermott appeared in Huddersfield just two months ago, catching the eye for Bournemouth in two memorable League I play-off semi-final meetings.
The Dubliner lashed home a sizzling equaliser for the Cherries in the 1-1 first-leg draw at Dean Court, then helped his side fight out a 3-3 draw in the Galpharm return.
Now he’ll be aiming to bolster Town’s promotion bid after becoming Clark’s second South-coast capture in 24 hours (after left-sided Southampton player Oscar Gobern).
McDermott played 11 times for Bournemouth and has also had loan spells at MK Dons and Scunthorpe.
He joined Manchester City at 15, and helped them win the FA Youth Cup in 2008.
“Donal has been on our radar for a long time,” said Clark, who welcomed his players back for pre-season training yesterday.
“He was one of the targets we were looking at when we signed Danny Ward on loan (in March).
“At that time he was just recovering from an injury and was undergoing rehab at Manchester City, and given how quickly we wanted a replacement we went for Danny, who was very successful.
“Every time he has come up against us, whether it was for Chesterfield in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy or for Bournemouth in the play-offs, he has enhanced his reputation with very good performances.
“We’re delighted to have him – he adds competition to the wide areas and can also play just behind the strikers too, so he has good versatility.
“He’s left footed, but as people have probably seen, he is comfortable coming off the line and linking up with the strikers as well.
“He’s a match-winner – the type of player who will excite the fans.”
Pilkington has hinted he wants to move to the Premier League.
But Championship Leicester, who signed his close friend Lee Peltier from Town last month, are highly ambitious and could appeal to the 23-year-old.