Pompey-bound Curtis in good company after League of Ireland grounding

Former Pompey favourite Enda Stevens. Picture: Joe Pepler
Former Pompey favourite Enda Stevens. Picture: Joe Pepler
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Ronan Curtis will officially become a Pompey player on Saturday when the international transfer window opens.

The forward’s move to Fratton Park from Derry City for an undisclosed fee will be completed after he signed a pre-contract agreement last month.

Curtis has been plying his trade in the League of Ireland since breaking into the first team at the Brandywell.

And the Emerald Isle’s top division has proved a solid platform for players who have had success at Fratton Park in recent years.

In the 2016-17 League Two title-winning campaign, four of Paul Cook’s troops started their careers in the League of Ireland.

Enda Stevens broke through the ranks at University College Dublin before going on to represent St Patrick’s Athletic and Shamrock Rovers.

After making a total of 46 appearances at the three clubs, he earned a move to Premier League outfit Aston Villa.

He then joined Pompey in 2015 following loan spells at Doncaster, Notts County and Northampton.

The left-back quickly became a fans’ favourite because of his marauding runs down the flank.

He made 99 appearances and scored once before leaving for Championship outfit Sheffield United last summer.

Stevens has carried on his impetus at the Blades and made his Republic of Ireland debut against the USA on Saturday.

Meanwhile, David Forde featured for two teams in the League of Ireland.

The keeper spent two spells with both Galway and Derry.

It was at Millwall where Forde had the most success during his career – earning promotion from League One in 2010 and winning 24 caps for his country.

Forde moved to Pompey on a season-long loan in 2016, with Cook wanting a dominant stopper between the posts.

The veteran keeper gave the Blues exactly that and he finished with 19 clean sheets.

Loanee Eoin Doyle made his first-team debut at Shelbourne in 2006.

He switched to Shamrock and then Sligo in 2009 where he played under Cook before joining Hibernian two years later.

During his spell at the Blues, striker Doyle netted two goals in 12 appearances.

He struck 16 times for relegated Oldham last term.

Noel Hunt was the other League Two title winner to start his career in Ireland’s top division, where he featured for Shamrock Rovers and Waterford.

The marksman scored once in 20 appearances during his sole campaign at PO4.