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Crusaders confirm signing of Derry City striker Rory Patterson

Derry City striker Rory Patterson has signed for Crusaders.

The former Coleraine and Linfield forward is expected to link up with Stephen Baxter's Irish League champions on a one-year contract.

The Crues have been on the look-out for a striker since Jordan Owens sustained a pulled hamstring that is likely to keep him out of the club's first four fixtures of the Danske Bank Premiership season.

The club had a bid turned down by Coleraine for 22-year-old Jamie McGonigle but have now moved for Patterson instead.

Such is the need for a potent force up front in their record scorer's absence, the Strabane man may slot straight into the line-up for Monday evening's season-opener at home to Ards.

Patterson netted seven goals during Derry City's SSE Airticity League campaign so far but has recently lost his place in the starting line-up to summer-signing Ally Roy.

Patterson netted 30 goals for Coleraine during the 2009/10 Irish League season and, after a spell at Plymouth Argyle, played for Linfield for half a season, joining Derry in January 2012.

He has been capped four times by Northern Ireland.

Crusaders host Olympija Ljubljana tonight in their Europa League second qualifying round second leg. The Seaview side trail 5-1 from the first leg.

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