We recently tipped Jordan Stewart of former local club Glentoran as one of the players gauranteed to make it across the water this year in our Top Belfast Boys To Watch This Season In The Irish League.
And it seems we were right – as Football League 1 club Swindon have signed up striker Stewart on a two-year-deal.
The fee for the 20-year-old forward is reported to be £50,000.
Glentoran’s former talisman only joined the club in 2013, but quickly cemented himself as a threat to any defender, scoring 16 goals, including a hat-trick against Warrenpoint Town last term and has previously spent time on trial at Stoke City, Middlesbrough and Peterborough.
With Stewart’s success it seems the Irish League is finally getting the respect it deserves from talent scouts and football agents.
Check out some of the top local footballers who have gained success across the water…
Leeds have signed former Crusaders star winger Stuart Dallas on a three-year deal from Brentford for an undisclosed fee.
The Northern Ireland international, who can play on either flank, was the Championship club’s seventh signing of the summer.
Possibly one of the biggest success stories to come out of Northern Ireland’s Irish League in recent times, Dallas scored eight goals in 43 appearances last season, including the club’s Goal of the Season winner at Fulham, as Brentford reached the play-offs after finishing the season fifth
Cliftonville’s former golden boy Liam Boyce has made a splash at Premier League team Ross County, where his contract was recently extended until the summer of 2017.
The strike pairing of Boyce and Craig Curran was integral to County’s recovery last season, helping lift the club off the bottom of the Scottish Premiership and up to tenth place.
Talented Boyce was sorely missed when he left Cliftonville in the midst of a huge winning streak, and will no doubt continue to make new waves at the Scottish Premier League club.
Originally at Premier League team Swansea, Rory Donnelly has his feet firmly on the ground now at League 1 club Gillingham.
And Justin Edinburgh expects new signing Rory Donnelly to take League 1 by storm.
The Northern Ireland striker was once courted by the likes of Liverpool and Everton, and Gillingham boss Edinburgh hopes the class that attracted the attentions of England’s top teams can shine through at Priestfield.
“I think he will settle in very quickly. I think he will take the league by storm,” said Edinburgh, who has tried to sign the striker for his old club Newport.
Last but certainly by no means least, Joe Gormley’s talent for hitting the back of the net has resulted in his recent transfer to League 1 side Peterborough United.
And ‘Joe the Goal’ is already proving why he was snapped up across the water.
With a prolific record behind him at Cliftonville, after scoring a staggering 40 goals in 2014-15, including five hat-tricks, breaking the club’s record for goals in a season, it seems this is certainly one player set for big things…
Gormley (right) impressed during Peterborough United’s pre-season friendlies, grabbing several goals in the process. Can ‘Joe the Goal’ carry this form into the League 1 campaign? We certainly hope so!