Graham Westley snapped up Don Cowan; adding the young forward to the Stevenage squad just before the 2011 summer transfer window closed. Cowan came to us from Longford Town of the Airtricity League First Division in Ireland; making him the fourth recruit from the Irish leagues after Ronnie Henry, Darren Murphy and Darragh Ryan. And he came to us with a healthy record for Longford Town, scoring eight goals in 19 games for the club after joining the club ahead of the 2011 season.
It ended up being the first of two spells with us too; leaving us in summer 2012 after the departure of Westley, only to return a year later after – erm – the gaffer who first signed him decided to re-sign him.
Don Cowan: Before Boro’
It followed a loan stint at the mid-Ireland outfit during the previous season, in which Cowan made 13 appearances without finding the back of the net. Before Longford Town, he spent two years at first club Shamrock Rovers; featuring in the ‘A’ team throughout 2009, before stepping up to the first team in July 2009. Whether the striker thought he may progress to English Football within two-and-a-bit years is unknown, but Boro’ weren’t the only potential suitor in 2011.
The switch to Stevenage was completed for an undisclosed fee after a brief trial, though Cowan found himself trialling at Millwall as well. In coming to England, Cowan arguably made a significant leap up from his surroundings at Longford Town and looked to become the latest successful import to have started out on the other side of the Irish Sea.