Drogheda trio sign new deals
DROGHEDA United boss Mick Cooke has re-signed Brian Gannon, Philip Hand and Stephen Quigley for the 2013 season - and paved the way for a possible return to the squad for Shane Grimes.
Left-back Grimes tested positive for a banned substance after a match against Bohemians in May and played no further part in the 2012 season, but the manager has accepted the player's explanation that he took an energy drink not realising that it contained a banned stimulant.
'I haven't spoken to Shane, but I've kept in touch with him and he has agreed to come back, so I will be sitting down to talk terms with him,' Cooke confirmed on Tuesday.
'I wouldn't go as far as saying that he's forgiven, because he made an honest mistake and didn't try to hide anything, and I told him on day one that I would take him back.'
Asked about his three resignings, Cooke enthused: 'These players might not get the headlines like the Brennan brothers, but they are of the utmost importance to us, they never missed training and I don't think they ever let us down.
'By the end of this week things will start moving with other players one way or another, once Shamrock Rovers and Sligo Rovers settle down [with signing players]. The big players are boxing off against each other and Limerick still have to come into the equation - I think they are looking to appoint a manager this week.'
Meanwhile, in a surprise development, Drogheda United's commercial manager Philip Nolan confirmed on Tuesday that he will be leaving Hunky Dorys Park on Friday, after what had appeared to be a successful year in bringing in much-needed income in a difficult economic climate.
Asked about the departure, Cooke said: 'I got the news this morning myself and I was very surprised.
'It's disappointing for anybody to lose their job and I haven't spoken to the chairman so I don't know the reasons.'