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NI ace Boyce joins old pals after sealing his record move to Burton

By Adam McKendry

In-form Northern Ireland striker Liam Boyce has completed his move from Scottish club Ross County to Sky Bet Championship side Burton Albion on a three-year deal.

Boyce will move to the Brewers for a club-record fee, believed to be Boyce's release clause of £500,000, however the exact amount has not been specified by either club.

The 26-year old was in high demand after an exceptional season for Ross County in the Scottish Premiership, finishing top of the scoring charts with 23 goals in their league campaign.

The former Cliftonville ace also netted his first ever international goal in Northern Ireland's 1-0 friendly win over New Zealand at the start of the month, and he went on to start in the World Cup qualifier away to Azerbaijan as well.

Boyce will join Northern Ireland team-mates Tom Flanagan, who made his debut in the win over New Zealand, and Matthew Lund at the Championship club.

He will also link up with another familiar face at the Pirelli Stadium in Australian midfielder Jackson Irvine, who moved to Burton from Ross County in last summer's transfer window.

"I'm absolutely buzzing to finally get (the deal) done," Boyce said. "There's been a lot of speculation so now I'm just happy to be here.

"I kept in touch with Jackson after he came down here. He has done well and it has been a good platform for him to come and play his football. He's been brilliant the past season and I just hope to come in and do the same.

"I want to go to the next level and, no disrespect to Scotland, but the English Championship is a step up in quality and I wanted to come and test myself."

Burton manager Brian Clough was very complimentary of his new signing, and spoke of his eagerness to get the Northern Irishman on the pitch.

"He's a good player who can get goals," Clough remarked.

"He was the top scorer in Scotland which, when you consider the incredible season Celtic had, that's really some going in itself.

"Liam has done very well there for a couple of seasons and he's a full Northern Ireland international.

"Some people say he's not easy on the eye at times but he's a good all-round player. He's not blessed with pace but holds the ball up well and gets in the box.

"If you think of all the chances we created last season, hopefully if we can do the same again he can get on the end of them.

"He's the right kind of character and he is desperate to come down and prove himself in England."

• Glentoran have announced the signing of forward Tiarnan McNicholl from Cliftonville on a two-year deal.

McNicholl, 22, had a successful loan spell last season at Carrick Rangers, and is Glens manager Gary Haveron's fifth signing of the summer.

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