Foster lands Bohs duo to signal Dundalk's intent
DUNDALK have become the first Airtricity League club to capitalise on Bohemians' financial plight as they snapped up Jason Byrne and Mark Quigley yesterday.
In a show of intent from manager Ian Foster, the pair add some serious clout to the Louth side's attacking options. The striking duo were both out of contract at Dalymount Park and will significantly boost the Lilywhites' prospects in 2011.
Foster's charges led the way in the early stages of last season but lost ground when the size of their squad was exposed. A humbling 6-0 defeat to Levski Sofia in the Europa League was the nadir and although they finished the season well, the Liverpudlian was keen to bolster his squad.
Byrne (33) won two caps for Ireland when playing for Shelbourne and has won five league titles over the last decade on his way to becoming the fourth highest goalscorer in League of Ireland history. He was troubled with injury last season, however, as Bohs lost the title on goal difference.
Quigley (25) was one of the main reasons the Phibsboro club pushed Shamrock Rovers so close last year, and although he struggled to find the net while on the wing at Dalymount, Foster is confident he can make an impact at Oriel Park, where there are now 14 players on contract for next season.
"They're two first-class signings, both with proven track records," he said. "Jason is one of the highest all-time scorers in the league and hopefully he can move further up that list at Dundalk.
"Mark is a fantastic talent. He is a bit of an enigma to some people, but since I've come to this country I have seen him play for St Pat's and Bohs and he has been fantastic. I'm delighted that we have managed to bring him to this football club.
"Both boys realised the current situation and everybody has got to cut their cloth accordingly. Neither of these boys has come here for financial gain -- they have come here to be competitive and to win trophies, and hopefully we can do that. Nobody is under any illusion that these two boys have signed for Dundalk to pick up a few bob, because that is certainly not the case."
Meanwhile, Pat Fenlon and Michael O'Neill have again been linked to the latest vacancy in Scottish football after Mark McGhee was sacked as Aberdeen boss last week.
Although former Don Eoin Jess is the front-runner for the job, Bohs boss Fenlon, who was denied the chance to manage Dundee United earlier this year, appears to be among the contenders. Ex-Hull manager Phil Brown has expressed an interest in the role.