South Melbourne FC has secured the signature of the 27 year old Irish central defender Stephen Folan, whilst agreeing for his release from Dundalk Football Club for season 2020. Despite Folan attracting interest from other Irish Premier League clubs, the club is pleased to confirm that he instead chose to join the boys at Lakeside.

Whilst playing for Ireland at youth level, Folan was apart of the Newcastle United Youth Academy. Through his exceptional performances for the Magpies at Youth Level, he joined the senior squad on a two-year contract. Through out his time in North England, Folan played numerous reserves matches, whilst being apart of the first team structure. This included featuring on the bench on numerous occasions for the black and whites.

Following his time at Newcastle, Folan moved back to his native Ireland and signed with Limerick FC in the Irish Premier League. In the two seasons that he spent with the club, he earned the Young Player award and featured in over 70 first team matches for the club. He followed this with consistent first team football at both Cork City and Galway in the following seasons.

In January 2017, he signed with Dundalk FC and has since been playing at the club. During his time at Dundalk, the club has won two league titles, as well as winning one League Cup, President’s Cup, Ea Sports Cup and FAI Cup. Following the recent success, Dundalk competed in the qualifying phase of both the UEFA Champions League and Europa League. They are currently sitting on top of the Irish Premier League table.

The strong and composed defender will bring a wealth of experience to our back four, having played in over 200 matches at senior level throughout the top tier of Irish Football. As well as his defensive ability, Stephen has also shown his ability to score and has a commanding presence inside the area from a dead ball situation.

Speaking to smfc.com.au, Senior Football Director Andrew Mesourouni was thrilled to welcome such a professional into the squad. “We would like to welcome Stephen to Australia and South Melbourne FC. Stephen had received numerous offers throughout Ireland and the UK but chose to accept our offer and join us at Lakeside. We are fortunate to have him with us and ask all supporters to welcome him. He’s an extremely powerful defender, with the ability to win the high ball and chase down his opponents. His years of experience at the highest level of Irish Football will only complement our 2020 season campaign.”

Stephen Folan was equally as excited join the club. “It’s a dream come true to move to Melbourne and I am extremely pleased that I will be able to continue my football at an iconic and historic club of Australian Football in 2020. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time back home, but the reality is I am really looking forward to the challenge of moving abroad with my partner and enjoying what Melbourne has to offer. After speaking to South Melbourne’s senior head coach Esteban, my aim will be to work hard and assist the club to add more silver ware to its cabinets. I can’t wait”.

Stephen will arrive in December for pre-season training following his commitments with Dundalk FC.