With all the New Year festivities last week, you can be forgiven for missing out on the major updates on the SSE Airtricity League. So, with that in mind, we've rounded up ten things you might have missed from last week as clubs start their preparat
With all the New Year festivities last week, you can be forgiven for missing out on the major updates on the SSE Airtricity League.
So, with that in mind, we've rounded up ten things you might have missed from last week as clubs start their preparations for the 2018 season.
1. Bray Wanderers sign up ten players
Five players have re-signed with the club as Gary McCabe, Hughie Douglas, Conor Kenna, John Sullivan and Ger Pender commit to the Seagulls for the 2018 season.
A further five players have been added as former Limerick and St. Patrick's Athletic midfielder Paul O'Conor, former Shamrock Rovers duo Sean Heaney and Darragh Gibbons and former Bohemians man Dylan Hayes have all signed.
Former Longford Town winger Jake Kelly has also signed for Wanderers as new boss Dave Mackey gets his pre-season preparations underway.
2. Shamrock Rovers snap up former Saint
Shamrock Rovers have bolstered their defensive options with the signing of former St. Johnstone defender Ally Gilchrist.
The 22-year old centre-half has had loan spells with Elgin City and Peterhead after he rose through the St. Johnstone youth ranks to the senior side. He has made appearances for St. Johnstone in the UEFA Europa League but failed to make any league appearances with the Scottish Premiership club.
3. Aaron Drinan pens Portman deal
English Championship side Ipswich Town have snapped up Waterford striker Aaron Drinan on a three-and-a-half year contract.
Drinan came through the ranks at Cork City before moving onto First Division Champions Waterford half-way through last season. Mick McCarthy has been tracking the 19-year old striker for some time and has finally brought the striker to Portman Road.
4. Neil McDonald leaves
Limerick have 'reluctantly' accepted Neil McDonald's decision to take up the assistant manager's position at Scunthorpe United.
McDonald was appointed Limerick manager in May and went on to secure Limerick's Premier Division and also led Limerick to their first FAI Cup semi-final appearance in 23 years.
McDonald said: "I had a fantastic time at Limerick even though it was a short period. I came to do a specific job; to help the club maintain its Premier Division status, to thin the squad out as it was top-heavy and to give the young players a chance - I'd like to think that I achieved all three."
5. Favourite returns home to Bohs
Fans favourite Keith Buckley has returned to Dalymount Park for the 2018 season following his spell with Bray Wanderers.
The 25-year old spent seven years with Bohemians before moving to the Carlisle Grounds last season but he has now re-signed with the club ahead of the new campaign.
Bohemians manager Keith Long said: "This is a great signing for us. It's no secret that we didn't want him to leave in the first place. He was virtually an ever-present for me before he left so he is a player and person I hold in high regard."
6. Simon Power signs for Norwich
Former UCD and Republic of Ireland U19 international Simon Power has signed for English Championship side Norwich City.
The 19-year old has signed an 18-month deal at Carrow Road having impressed in the SSE Airtricity U19 League for UCD last season.
7. Ronan Hale signs loan deal at Derry
Derry City have reunited the Hale brothers after they signed Ronan Hale on loan from English Championship side Birmingham City.
Former Aston Villa and Galway United midfielder Rory Hale signed for Derry City last year and his brother Ronan now joins him at Brandywell Stadium on loan until June.
Ronan is a Republic of Ireland U19 international and penned a three-year contract at St. Andrews back until 2019.
8. Clubs pre-season preparations
SSE Airtricity League clubs up and down the country have returned for pre-season ahead of the 2018 season.
SSE Airtricity League Champions Cork City returned to training on Friday whilst Dundalk started their pre-season training with fitness testing.
Longford Town manager Neale Fenn posted on his personal twitter account photos of the De Town squad going through strength and mobility testing.
9. Jesse Devers joins Finn Harps
Former Galway United striker Jesse Devers has signed for First Division side Finn Harps ahead of the new season.
The 20-year old forward was once on the books of Wolverhampton Wanderers before signing for Galway United in 2016. Devers left Galway in July to re-sign with his junior club Manulla FC. He will now return to the SSE Airtricity League as Harps look to bounce back to the Premier Division.
10. Leahy seals Bohemians move
Bohemians have snapped up highly-rated Republic of Ireland U19 international defender Darragh Leahy ahead of the new campaign.
Leahy came through the ranks at St. Kevin's Boys and signed with English side Coventry City in 2015. Leahy enjoyed a spell with Nuneaton Town on loan but couldn't break through into the first-team at the Ricoh Arena.
Leahy has won eight U19 caps for Ireland and will now look to kick-start his senior career at Dalymount Park.