CORK footballer Kevin Long has signed for Birmingham City on a permanent deal from Burnley.
The defender joins the Blues until June 2023 and this ends his thirteen year career at Turf Moor, a spell that began with a transfer from Cork City in 2010.
Long played for Burnley in all domestic competitions in England and he featured for them in the UEFA Europa League at the start of the 2018/19 season.
His time at Turf Moor was supplemented by loan spells at Accrington Stanley, Rochdale, Portsmouth, Barnsley, and MK Dons.
Long’s work rate for Burnley was rewarded with a number of call-ups to the Republic of Ireland senior team, starting in 2017.
The defender has 17 caps for his country and he scored once during a 3-1 win over Bulgaria at the Aviva Stadium in September 2019.
Long is now fully focused on his new club Birmingham and he cannot wait to get started.
"I am really looking forward to it, to be honest. It has been a tough season for me personally at Burnley,” he told BluesTV.
“Being at Burnley has been a big part of my career since I moved to England at 19 and it has just felt like the right time to move on.
“I haven’t got much game time this season. I spoke to the manager last night and he spoke really well about the place.
"I know a few of the guys who are here already and when the opportunity came up, I’m just really excited to come here and get going.
"I’m itching to get playing.” Long also paid tribute to Burnley, the club that first brought him to England as a teenager.
“The changes that have been happening over the last ten years have been amazing for the club and the fanbase,” he said.
“They just went on from strength to strength. Hopefully long may it continue for them.”
The deal was announced on Thursday evening with a Home Alone inspired video that saw the defender take on the role of Kevin McCallister.
Long will now join a Birmingham team that is seventeenth in the Championship and fighting to avoid relegation.
The Blues are currently six points behind third from bottom Rotherham United but they only have one win in their last five games.
They will also kick-off their FA Cup campaign on Saturday afternoon with a game against Forest Green.
This weekend could also see Cork footballer Fiacre Kelleher make his debut for Colchester United at Harrogate.
The 26-year-old centre back joined the League Two side on Wednesday afternoon on a permanent deal from Bradford City.
Kelleher had been on loan at National League club Solihull Moors this season, where played 20 games in all competitions.