Irish Premiership: Crusaders sign midfielder Rory Hale from Derry City

Rory Hale signs on the dotted line alongside Crusaders boss Stephen Baxter
Rory Hale signs on the dotted line alongside Crusaders boss Stephen Baxter

Republic of Ireland U21 midfielder Rory Hale has joined Premiership champions Crusaders from Derry City on a two-and-a-half year deal.

Belfast-born Hale cannot play for the Seaview club until the transfer window opens in January.

The 21-year-old former Aston Villa youth player signed for Derry last year after a spell with Galway United.

Hale is the latest player to leave the Brandywell following the end of the League of Ireland season.

They also include his brother Ronan, Nicky Low, Gavin Peers, Eric Grimes, Dan Seaborne and Ben Fisk.

Crusaders said on Thursday that manager Stephen Baxter "moved swiftly to secure Rory's signing as it was anticipated he would be chased by a host of clubs".

Hale's grandfather Danny played for Derry and Crusaders and scored over 100 goals for both clubs.