Oxford United have signed the highly rated Dungannon Swifts midfielder Oisin Smyth on a three-and-a-half-year deal for an undisclosed fee.
The 21-year-old, who has seven Northern Ireland under-21 caps to his name, came through the ranks at the Tyrone outfit and played a total of 113 first team games over a period of four seasons.
Speaking to the Oxford United website, Smyth said. “It’s a fantastic opportunity for me and I’m really looking forward to it.
“I’ve been really impressed with the facilities here and it’s definitely a club on the up. There are a lot of really good players here and I can’t wait to get out there on the training pitches, work as hard as I can, and make the most of my chance here.
“I just want to say a massive thank-you to Dungannon Swifts for everything they’ve done for me,” he added. "Dungannon have looked after me for almost 10 years now and I owe a lot to the club.
“It’s always been a dream of mine to move to England to play professional football and when the opportunity arose for me I didn’t think twice of grasping it with both hands.”
Meanwhile, Oxford United boss Karl Robinson, who also has former Irish League stars Mark Sykes, Joel Cooper and Gavin Whyte in his ranks, said:
“Oisin is one for the future. He’s a young boy from Northern Ireland and he’s one that we really like. We’ve watched him a number of times and we’re really pleased with this.”
Smyth, who made his debut for the Swifts in a Mid-Ulster Cup tie against Hanover in 2018, was appointed as skipper at Stangmore Park last April by manager Dean Shiels, and he was delighted with the youngster’s move into full-time football.
“My first big decision was to appoint him captain of the club as I saw his potential straight away; he was the obvious choice,” said Shiels.
“He’s been a pleasure to work with and I wish him all the best. I will take great satisfaction watching his career develop in the years to come.”