Saturday 16 December 2017

New boy Rossiter anxious to make up for lost time


DUNDALK manager Stephen Kenny has described Mark Rossiter as a 'model professional', after landing the experienced former Bohemians, St Patrick's and Sunderland defender.

The Sligo native, at 29 the oldest player in the squad, adds experience and versatility to the mix and is a proven winner, having accumulated two league titles, an FAI Cup and a Setanta Cup during his time with Bohs.

Rossiter, who can play anywhere across the back four and in midfield, joined the Lilywhites on Sunday morning, having been in the PFAI squad which travelled to Norway last week. He had spent the 2012 season at Liam Buckley's St Patrick's Athletic where he suffered a cruciate injury at The Brandywell in may and was sidelined for the remainder of the campaign.

Speaking on Tuesday afternoon, Kenny said: 'Mark's an excellent professional. It's a young squad and a lot of our young players can learn from Mark.

'He has a great reputation and is a model professional. He is a very, very good footballer, technically excellent, a good reader of the game, and he's hungry to do well.

'We don't need him to play in midfield because we are well served there; I brought him in to play in the back four.'

Giving his reaction, Rossiter - who made his Sunderland debut against Arsenal back in 2002 before suffering another cruciate injury which led to his return home - said: 'If you look at the signings that Stephen has made for the club, they are all full of football. I have a lot of experience under my belt and I want to be part of a club that has the potential to achieve something. I feel like this will be an exciting season.

'I had been training with St Pat's, but once Stephen spoke to me about this project at Oriel Park I was happy to sign. When Stephen was talking to me about it he was so excited about it himself that I couldn't help be inspired by his words. I think you can see from the signings he has made that we will be a good side and play in the right manner.'

Meanwhile, pre-season training has been continuing, with John Mountney set to play a full part from next week as he continues his recovery from a hernia operation. Graham Byrne has been appointed as the club's strength and conditioning coach.

There was no news at the time of going to press of any further friendly matches, although the club still plan to play against a Northern Ireland amateur international selection on Monday February 25th, possibly in Newry. There is also talk of a friendly against a Tommy McConville select.

As things stand, the only friendlies confirmed are those against Finn Harps (February 8th), Wexford Youths (February 22nd) and the Jim Malone Cup game against Drogheda United on March 1st - all of those Friday night matches in Oriel Park.

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