Rory Gaffney has finally completed a permanent move to Bristol Rovers after it had looked like he was caught in football limbo in League Two. The former Limerick striker moved to Cambridge United this time last year after an excellent run of form in the Airtricity League.
However, a foot injury meant that he didn't make his debut for Cambridge until September. Shaun Derry was then brought in as manager at the Abbey Stadium at the start of November and he made it clear that there was no place for Gaffney in his starting line-up.
Somewhat surprisingly, considering he had only played six games for mid-table Cambridge, Bristol Rovers came in for Gaffney at the end of November and took him on a one month loan deal. Just like that, Gaffney was given a chance in a promotion pushing League Two side and he took his chance with both hands, to the extent that he almost played too well.
Five goals in seven games and all of a sudden, Cambridge had second thoughts about how willing they were to let him go. It had been suggested that he would be allowed to move to Bristol on a free transfer but, having performed so well, he has since moved back to Cambridge with a permanent deal looking unlikely.
Thankfully for Gaffney the impasse between the League Two rivals has been overcome and the Tuam man is now moving to Bristol on a permanent deal.
— Bristol Rovers (@Official_BRFC) January 14, 2016
Speaking about the transfer today, Bristol chairman Nick Higgs confirmed that a fee had been paid for Gaffney but it's clear just how delighted they are to have him on a full time deal.
I have to say that negotiations have been cordial and would like to thank Cambridge United and their Chairman for the professional manner in which we have been able to discuss, and finally conclude, the transfer.
Cambridge didn't really want to lose Rory and I have spoken with their Chairman on a daily basis for the last week. I have nothing but praise for everyone involved in the eventual transfer at the Cambridge end and wish them well for the remainder of the season.
Rory is joining us for an undisclosed fee and on a permanent contract and I am delighted that he is returning to us. It's a very important signing for Bristol Rovers as we bid to achieve a second successive promotion.
Bristol are currently fifth in the League Two table, five points of an automatic promotion spot but looking good value for a play-off place at the very least.