Three-year contract agreed with Irish defender
Brentford have signed former Republic of Ireland Under-21 international defender John Egan after he turned down a contract at Gillingham. The 23-year-old completed his move to Griffin Park and signed a three-year contract today, Friday 1 July. The centre half was offered a new contract by Sky Bet League One Gillingham and due to his age, the Kent side will be due compensation. Negotiations between Brentford and Gillingham are continuing.
John started out playing for Greenwood FC in his home town of Cork and moved to Sunderland when he was 16 to be part of the Premier League side’s youth set-up. He turned professional in 2011 but left three years later without making an appearance for the North East side. John had loan spells at Crystal Palace, Sheffield United, Bradford City and Southend United and then joined Gillingham in 2014 when released by Sunderland.
John was almost ever-present in his first season at Gillingham and played 52 games in all competitions. He added a further 40 last term and scored six goals for the League One side, bringing his total to 11 in 92 games for The Gills. John’s performances last season earned him a place in the PFA Sky Bet League One Team of the Year. The defender has played for Ireland at Under-17 and Under-19 level and won six Under-21 caps.
Dean Smith, Brentford Head Coach, said: “John is someone we believe can come in and challenge for a place in the team. I watched him a lot when he was at Sunderland and when he went out on loan. He is a proper centre back and has a hunger to keep the ball out of the net. He is a good defender and a good footballer as well. He is also a leader and we want to keep adding leaders to the squad.”
Phil Giles, Co-Director of Football, said: "We are fortunate to have some high quality central defenders already at the Club, but only one naturally right sided since the departure of James Tarkowski. John will therefore add some balance in this area. He has a good goal scoring record which we hope can continue at this higher level. On behalf of everyone at the Club I'd like to welcome John for what I'm sure will be a successful time at Brentford."