Crystal Palace Football Club have today completed the signing of Scottish midfielder Stephen Dobbie.
The 30-year-old spent the last four months of the 2012/13 campaign on loan at Selhurst Park from Championship rivals Brighton and Hove Albion, after joining the club in January on transfer deadline day.
Now the club are delighted to confirm that Dobbie has signed a permanent deal, ahead of the 2013/14 Barclays Premier League season.
Dobbie, who previously worked with Palace boss Ian Holloway at Blackpool, has penned a two-year contract with the Eagles, after the club agreed an undisclosed fee for his services.
The former Hibernian, St Johnstone and Queen of the South man helped Palace secure promotion to the Premier League last season, having previously achieved that feat with the Tangerines in 2010 and Swansea a year later.
He made eight top flight appearances for the Swans at the start of the 2011/12 season, before Holloway took him back to Blackpool for a second loan spell.
He joined Brighton on a free transfer in August 2012, before being re-united once again with Holloway, who brought him to Palace on loan in January this year.
And Dobbie, who scored three goals in 15 appearances between then and the end of the season, is looking forward to working with the gaffer again, in English football’s top flight.
Speaking exclusively to Palace Player, Dobbie said: “I’m delighted. It was all agreed in principle coming on loan. Obviously I’ve worked with the gaffer a number of times and there was no problem with that.
“A lot of people don’t see the side to the gaffer that we do – on the pitch, on the training field, on the bus and in the changing room.
“We know what he’s like and we know how good he is tactically. You just have to look at the play-off semi-finals and the final, how the boys played the way he wanted and we got the right result. I’m sure he’ll be buzzing and raring to go.
“I enjoyed my football last season here and I like to think I had a part in helping the team getting promoted. But it’s a new season now, that’s in the past. We’ve just got to get ready in pre-season and get ready for that first game.
“It’s every player’s dream, especially in the Championship – they want to be playing in the Premier League. You go away and have a nice holiday, but still in the back of your mind, you’ve only got four weeks off, so maybe in a week and a half, you’re going to know who you’re playing in that first game.
“Then you start to look through all the other fixtures. I think we’ve got Man United, Liverpool and Chelsea all away in our first games against them, so the second part of the season will be exciting, especially for the fans.”
Dobbie is Palace’s first permanent signing of the summer and he is keen to see the nucleus of last season’s squad retained ahead of the club’s Premier League return.
He added: “When I went up with Swansea, we made maybe, no more than five changes to the squad and that was key to that season under Brendan [Rodgers]. The players all knew each other and knew how Brendan worked and we were all in it together.
“I think that will be key – we all know each other and know how the gaffer works.”
To watch our interview with Stephen Dobbie in full, CLICK HERE.