Struggling St.Patrick’s Athletic have today completed a third high-profile signing of the week, with Dutch defender, Jordi Balk joining the Dublin club. Sitting second bottom in the top-flight, ahead of Sunday’s visit of run-away league leaders and European progressives, Cork City, the “Saints” recently held an emergency meeting to address Liam Buckley’s sides relegation worries and despite speculation that the Inchicore outfit may make a change in the Richmond Park hot-seat, it now appears the clubs hierarchy have opted to back “Bucko” in the July transfer market. Balk arrives just days after the double signing of midfield duo Killian Brennan and Owen Garvan.
Having departed fellow stragglers, Drogheda United in recent weeks, Brennan returns to the club where he was a fans favorite thanks to a title win under Buckley back in 2013. Garvan arrives at the “Saints” following a mixed spell in English football, where most noticeably the former Irish underage international made 77 appearances for London club, Crystal Palace.
As for Balk, the twenty-three-year-old arrives off the back of a three season spell with FC OSS in Holland. Prior to that, Balk made four appearances for Scottish Premiership side Ross County.
Standing at 6ft 4in’, the central defender will be hoping to make a lasting impression in the top-flight of Irish football with a Pats side, who have shipped 33 goals in just twenty league outings this season.
With international clearance required for Balk, it is unlikely he will make an appearance during Sunday’s tie with the Champions elect, although Pats fans did get a chance to see their new man in action during Wednesday night’s 1-0 friendly victory over Hearts of Midlothian.
Have you heard our new LOI podcast? If not, episode 5 was uploaded earlier this week with interviews from Dundalk assistant manager, Vinny Perth and Bray people reporter, Dan Gorman. Listen below using the Mixcloud player.