League champions Dundalk have again strengthened their squad for their title defence in 2017 as defender Paddy Barrett has agreed a new deal.
And Galway United have also boosted their hopes by landing David Cawley from St Patrick's Athletic.
While Stephen Kenny's club fear they will lose star names like Andy Boyle and Daryl Horgan at the end of the year, Kenny is keen to retain as many players from his league-winning side as possible, with keeper Gary Rogers signing a new deal earlier this week.
And now Barrett is also on board. "I am delighted to re-sign at the club. Stephen Kenny came to me a while back looking to sign me back and I always wanted to stay here. It's a great club and the success that we had in 2016 was great. We want to repeat that over the next few years.
"The future for Dundalk is bright. I want to be a part of that." the Waterford native said. "I get on great with all the lads and everyone around Dundalk. It has been good to me. I was always going to sign back here.
"I had good success in Europe with the club. I played in the Champions League during the summer and we want to go do the same next year. We want to reach the level we have been at again. To have the opportunity again in the Champions League was a major part of my decision to stay."
Galway, who lost Ryan Connolly to Shamrock Rovers, hope that Mayo lad Cawley can fill in, Cawley heading west after a spell with the Saints as the first new signing for boss Shane Keegan.