Daryl Horgan and Andy Boyle are bound for Preston North End. The same two Dundalk players who attracted the notice of the international management are heading for the Championship.
Their manager, Simon Grayson, also the man who managed Leeds United to a famous victory in Old Trafford in 2010, was on Off the Ball tonight talking about his new signings.
He said Preston's eye has been trained on the duo for some time. Top quality use of the phrase "had done ever so well" here, as opposed to the more economical "did well" or even "had done well."
I think we've been aware of them for quite a few months now. As Dundalk got more successful, the profile was lifted on them as a football club and the two individuals who had done ever so well.
Ultimately as it all progressed, we kept more of an eye on them and watched them more and it just came to a point where we got involved in trying to bring them to the football club.
Boyle's signature was secured first and Horgan's was a week later.
I met both players individually and Andy agreed to sign and then I met Daryl a week later and a couple of days later, he'd agreed to sign. So I think it's good business for us and a good progression for them as individuals in this stage of their careers.
The registration window in England doesn't open until the new year, so the pair won't be in action until January, though Grayson was able to speculate about involving them in the FA Cup tie againt Arsenal.
They're going to come over next week just to see the lads and integrate them. Obviously, no training as they're not contracted to us until January 3rd.
They've both been chomping at the bit to get into training with us. And potentially the first game that they're going to be available for us will be the Arsenal Cup tie. They're here for the long-term, not just for the first few games. We've both them for two and a half years. I'm sure they'll fit into the squad very well and affect the squad in a positive manner.
Interestingly, Grayson praised the League of Ireland as a good breeding ground for players, asserting that it has produced "very capable footballers" over the past decade and beyond, many of whom have thrived in England.
I think the League over the last ten years, probably beyond that, has brought very capable footballers over to England. It's been like a conveyer belt at times. I think they've proved that they can play against high calibre players when they're playing against St. Petersberg, and Legia Warsaw and Maccabi Tel Aviv, etc. It proves they can make that next step up.
Hopefully, they're going to be like a lot of Irish players who've made the transition across the water and had successful careers. If you look at what we've got at Preston at this moment in time, we've got a good Irish connection. Aiden McGeady on our books, Alan Brown, Eoin Doyle, Greg Cunningham, and Alan Kelly, my goalkeeping coach.
There's a good history of Irish players who've played for us.
Neither Boyle or Horgan have played professionably in England before. Both have spent their entire careers thus far in domestic football. Grayson cited the fact that they were coming over as a pair as being important in helping them settle in.
Preston currently lie 11th in the Championship.