Gary Deegan: Shrewsbury Town sign Southend United midfielder on two-year deal

Gary Deegan
Dubliner Gary Deegan played for Coventry and Northampton before his move to Southend in 2014

Shrewsbury Town have made their second summer signing by bringing in Southend defensive midfielder Gary Deegan.

The 28-year-old Dublin-born former Coventry City, Hibernian and Northampton Town player has signed a two-year contract.

Deegan follows the signing of Rochdale defender Oliver Lancashire by Town, who let eight players go following their League One relegation near miss.

BBC Radio Stoke believe Shrewsbury are also to sign Port Vale's Louis Dodds.

The 29-year-old forward, one of 13 Vale players who have only been offered a new deal on reduced terms, is expected to sign on a free transfer when his current contract expires in June.

The former Leicester City trainee Dodds has scored 56 goals in 332 appearances since signing for Vale in July 2008.

Deegan 'a massive winner' - Mellon

"I'm certain Gary will be a great crowd favourite," said Shrewsbury manager Micky Mellon. "He's a defensive midfielder who can sit in front of the centre-backs and protect them, and is also a leader, organiser and a massive winner.

"He'll be tough on the players around him because he has high standards of himself and his team-mates and he'll get the most out of them."

Deegan has scored just seven goals in 149 appearances since first crossing the Irish Sea to join Coventry from Bohemians in January 2010.

But he does attract the attention of referees, having picked up 31 yellow cards and two red cards over the past three seasons.

Shrewsbury's BBC match summariser Mark Elliott

"Micky Mellon is looking for players with experience of League One or above as he rebuilds his squad and tries to shore up last season's leaky defence - and tough-tackling Gary Deegan fits his new manager's criteria.

"Deegan is the fifth combative, deep-lying midfielder in the Town squad and speculation will now increase as to the futures of some of the club's existing midfielders. In turn, the arrival of Louis Dodds could push out of favour strikers James Collins and Tyrone Barnett closer to the exit door.

"Dodds is a different sort of player. An attacking midfielder, winger or forward who fans will hope can add some creativity and guile to a frontline that looked so predictable without stand out loan signing Sullay Kaikai last term."

Find all the latest football transfers on our dedicated page.

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