A look at Dundalk ahead of the new SSE Airtricity Men's Premier Division season
Despite what seemed like a difficult season at times, Dundalk managed a decent fifth placed finish last year just missing out on Europe but will feel that the continent is where they need to be come November this year.
Stephen O’Donnell’s side will have been through a few changes when they line up for their opening clash away to Shamrock Rovers on Friday week live on RTÉ2, so there will be an element of the unknown in some of their newer signings.
Of the players that O’Donnell has kept, serious talent and experience remains in the shape of Darryl Horgan and Robbie Benson - two League legends in their own right.
Archie Davies, who was the best right-back in the Division last year for many, also stays at Oriel Park in a big boost to O’Donnell.
The big loss of Pat Hoban to rivals Derry City will sting however for the Lilywhites faithful and it’ll be in the new bodies, many of whom arrive from the UK, that Dundalk will be relying on to help get back to the continent and to challenging for silverware.
Helping them along the way will be stalwart John Mountney who has been announced as Captain of the side.
““It’s a massive honour for me. I have been here for 12 seasons and I have a massive connection with the club and the town. It’s not something I’ll take lightly. I’ll put everything I can into it and we all will as a team.”
“I think it’s an exciting time. There’s a good balance and a real feeling of freshness about the place. We have experienced lads and we have young lads who look like they’re ready to step up to the plate. I think we’re in a good place and we’re all looking forward to the big kick-off now.”
With the likes of Scott High coming in from Huddersfield on loan, who has played a number of games in the EFL Championship, O’Donnell believes he has signed well.
Robbie Mahon comes in from his time in Scotland with much expected of the winger as will there be of new number 9 Jamie Gullan.
There are also new signings in the shape of Koen Oosterbrink and Dara Keane while Ross Munro comes in as goalkeeper Nathan Sheppard says goodbye to Oriel Park.
A lot of change in Louth, but Lilywhites fans have more than enough to be hopeful fore in 2024 and in Stephen O’Donnell, they have a Manager who is certainly capable of bringing these new players into a force to be reckoned with.
Finish last season - 5th
Manager - Stephen O’Donnell
Key player - Darryl Horgan