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Alan Mannus set for return home after announcing St Johnstone departure

by Adam McKendry

Former Northern Ireland goalkeeper Alan Mannus has announced he will be leaving St Johnstone at the end of the season.

The 35-year-old, who was capped eight times by his country before announcing his international retirement last month, will return to these shores in the summer after telling officials at McDiarmid Park he wished to go home with his family. Since the news broke, he has been linked with a move to former club Shamrock Rovers.

The Dublin side were his second club, who he joined after ending a nine year spell at Linfield.

His performances in the League of Ireland earned him the lucrative move to Scotland with St Johnstone, whom he has made over 200 appearances for since he arrived in 2011.

The Canada-born keeper was a key member of the squad that won the Scottish Cup in 2014, and Saints boss Tommy Wright admitted losing compatriot Mannus will be a big blow.

"I spoke to Alan about a month ago and he told me then of his desire to go back to Ireland with his family," Wright explained.

"He's a model professional who has helped our younger goalkeepers enormously and he's been a shining example to them during his time here.

"We wish him all the best in the future and he will always be welcome here at McDiarmid Park."

• NORTHERN Ireland striker Billy Kee scored both goals as Accrington Stanley secured promotion to League One for the first time in the club's history with a 2-0 win over Yeovil Town.

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