Crusaders: Irish Premiership champions sign striker Rory Patterson from Derry City

Rory Patterson
Rory Patterson was in his second spell at Derry City before his move to Crusaders

Crusaders have swooped to sign Derry City striker Rory Patterson following the injury to Jordan Owens.

Patterson, 34, has previous Irish Premiership experience with Coleraine and Linfield and could made his Crues debut against Ards on Monday, 6 August.

Crusaders boss Stephen Baxter had been searching for a replacement for Owens, who will miss the start of the season.

The Irish League holders also attempted to sign Coleraine's Jamie McGonigle.

Former Northern Ireland international Patterson, who has scored eight goals for the Candystripes this season, will add some much-needed experience to the Crusaders attack following the departures of Gavin Whyte and Owens' hamstring injury.

The Strabane native, who has played for the the likes of Rochdale, FC United of Manchester and Plymouth Argyle in England, will be introduced to Crusaders fans before kick off in their Europa League qualifier against Olimpija Ljubljana.

Subject to international clearance, Patterson will be hoping to start the opening match of Crues' Premiership title defence when Ards visit Seaview on Monday.