United's Purdy on the move
Drogheda United have lost a second member of their 2018 squad after defensive midfielder Richie Purdy opted to sign for newly-relegated Bray Wanderers.
The 21-year-old, who made 57 starts for the Boynesiders over three seasons, scoring twice, joins two other former Drogs at the Carlisle Grounds in 2007 League winner Paul Keegan and goalkeeper Gabriel Sava who have signed for Gary Cronin's squad from Waterford and Dundalk respectively.
Purdy is only the second frontline player from last season's squad to leave United Park, following Ciaran Kelly's decision to join Premier club St Patrick's Athletic.
With Drogs manager Tim Clancy having already re-signed the majority of last season's squad, he doesn't expect too many more comings and goings in the weeks leading up to the start of the 2019 league campaign.
Speaking to the Drogheda Independent on Sunday afternoon, the Trim native said: 'I spoke to Richie Purdy and he said he wanted something fresh.
'Our budget is the same as last year, but someone had got in his ear and made him think we'd a bigger budget and there was more money.
'I knew he would end up at Bray because there weren't many other places he could go, so good luck to him and we'll see how that goes.
'I've a few [possible signings] still on the back burner and there'll be one more signing to come in who will strengthen the starting XI.'
Arrangements for pre-season training venues and times have yet to be finalised, but the squad will assemble for fitness testing this coming Saturday, with full training beginning next week.
As last year, Clancy is putting together a tough schedule of pre-season friendlies, with the Drogs set to face four Premier clubs - Dundalk, St Patrick's Athletic, Bohemians and newly-promoted Finn Harps - as well as the Republic of Ireland Under-19s. The dates and venues have yet to be confirmed.
Drogheda's 2019 SSE Airtricity League First Division campaign begins with a home fixture against Cobh Ramblers on Friday February 22nd.
•Drogheda United are holding Under-17 and Under-19 trials at 10.30am and 12.30pm respectively on Sunday January 13th in Ashbourne Rugby Club. All players must pre-register by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with their name, date of birth, 2018 club and position.