Baggies seal deal for McAuley

The 31-year-old Northern Ireland international has put pen to paper
on a contract which will keep him at The Hawthorns until summer
2014. McAuley made nearly 100 appearances in three years with the
Tractor Boys and has won 28 caps for his country. Albion head coach
Roy Hodgson will be hoping his first signing of the summer will
help up to shore up his leaky defence. The Baggies conceded 71
goals in their 38 Premier League matches – an average of just under
two goals per game. McAuley will be tasting life in the top flight
for the first time, having previously played for Lincoln and
Leicester. Hodgson said: “We believe the time is right for him to
embark on a career in the Premier League after doing so well in the
Championship and for his country. “We are very happy, in the face
of lots of competition, to have acquired his services and persuaded
him to join us. “He is the Northern Ireland captain who knows
British football and he will be a very valuable addition to our
squad next year.” McAuley is currently preparing for his country’s
Carling Nations Cup matches against the Republic of Ireland and
Wales. He opted to leave Leicester for Ipswich after their
relegation to League One in 2008. In total he has made 295 career
appearances, scoring 25 goals.