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Stokes signing a major coup - Coyle

18 June 2016

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Manager Owen Coyle believes Rovers have pulled off a major coup with the capture of Anthony Stokes.

The Republic of Ireland international striker signed a three-year deal at Ewood Park on Friday, following his release from Celtic.


The 27-year-old scored 77 goals in 192 games during a successful six-year spell with the Scottish champions, where he won four Scottish Premiership titles, two Scottish Cups and the Scottish League Cup.


He ended the 2015-16 season on loan at Hibs and helped the Edinburgh club make history by netting twice in a dramatic 3-2 Scottish Cup final victory against Rangers in May.


Coyle, a former Republic of Ireland international forward himself, couldn’t hide his delight at making the former Arsenal and Sunderland star – who was a man in demand – his first summer signing.


“I am absolutely delighted to get Anthony Stokes on board,” said the new Rovers boss.


“He had a number of suitors and we had to beat off a lot of competition from some big clubs for his signature. This is a boy who is a proven goalscorer, he’s a had a terrific career at a very high level and we’ve got him at a very good age. At 27, I think he’s coming into his prime. 


“He’s coming here hungry and motivated to do well, to continue to his improvement, to score goals and to help Blackburn Rovers be an exciting team.


“Having played in front of 60,000 fans at Celtic, he’s got the mentality to stand up and be counted in big games, as he’s shown over the years, and to get a player of that calibre to the club, we’re absolutely delighted.


“Hopefully it gives all of the Rovers fans a lift and shows that we’re trying to get goalscorers and exciting players to the club that they can enjoy watching.”


Without a recognised goalscorer on Rovers’ books when Coyle was appointed manager earlier this month, he admits it was of paramount importance that the club strengthened the striking department as soon as possible, and he hopes that Stokes’ signing will be the first of many.


“We’ve obviously not finished there,” he added. “Anthony is the first part of that and we’ll continue to look to improve that department, but I think it’s a very good signing for the football club."

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