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Dundalk boost as five sign new deals

LEAGUE champions Dundalk have already made plans for their title defence and their Champions League campaign next season by re-signing five key members of their title-winning squad.

In the aftermath of Friday's success which brought the title home for the first time in 19 years, Dundalk boss Stephen Kenny admitted that one of his major challenges would be keeping his squad intact, and with key midfielder Richie Towell expected to leave - Towell will play for Cardiff City in a trial game against Chelsea tonight - other exits were feared.

But Dundalk have announced that Darren Meenan and Andy Boyle (both above), Chris Shields, Dane Massey and David McMillan and have all agreed terms for 2015, a major boost for Kenny.

While Dundalk fans will be relieved to see all five back at Oriel Park next season, the re-signing of Boyle is a major coup as the defender, who captained the side for most of the season due to Stephen O'Donnell's absence, had been linked with a move to England.

Striker McMillan missed the title run-in due to injury but the former UCD man scored some vital goals off the bench for Kenny's side earlier in the season and the Dundalk boss was keen to have McMillan on board for next season, while Massey and Meenan were also vital figures.