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Drogs boss Clancy shrugs off Dundalk talk


Drogheda United manager Tim Clancy. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Drogheda United manager Tim Clancy. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Drogheda United manager Tim Clancy. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile


Dundalk are expected to step up their bid to tie down players and a manager this week following the completion of the 2021 season on Friday night.

The 2-1 defeat to Derry City at Oriel Park saw all players and coaching staff bar Andy Boyle, Mayowa Animasahun and Ryan O’Kane come to the end of their contracts with the club.

While the new owners, Andy Connolly and the STATSports duo of Sean O’Connor and Alan Clarke hope to keep the core of last season’s squad together and build on it, the priority off the field since taking over has been working on the licensing process to compete in the Premier Division next season.

That said, talks are expected with a number of players this week while the club will also look to tie up the managerial situation. While Vinny Perth would not be drawn on his future after Friday’s game, it is expected that a new head coach will be appointed for next season.

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Reports in The Irish Examiner on Sunday evening suggest that Drogheda Utd boss Tim Clancy could be in the frame although it is understood that an official approach to the Boynesiders for the Meath man has yet to take place. The Argus understands that Clancy is one of at least two names being heavily considered for the Oriel Park hotseat.

Speaking yesterday afternoon, Clancy poured cold water on the idea, if not completely ruling it out: “I can’t control speculation if someone writes something about me, but I have spoken to Conor Hoey today and myself and Kevin (Doherty) are contacting players this week.

“I am happy at Drogheda and that’s all I’m going to say.

“No job is for ever and the other side of that is that if you lose the first five games of next season you might be told to leave. That’s just the industry we are in.”

Speaking on The Town End podcast on Friday night, club consultant Martin Connolly said that Dundalk wouldn’t have the kind of spending power of PEAK6 but insisted the new owners were determined to keep a full-time status and compete towards the top end of the table next season.

“We won’t have PEAK6’s budget. I don’t think anybody in the league will have that budget,” he said.

“I think we have to cut our cloth to fit and we’re good at that and we have been good at that and that’s where we bring our experience to it.

“Everybody will have to manage that but will we be a part-time football club with low expectations? Absolutely not. We will do everything in our power to continue to be full-time. We will have high expectations.

“We will do as well as we can with our budget to make us competitive and we will hope that our manager and players achieve the highest results that they can and the one thing that we will demand in a Dundalk jersey is that competitive nature and that willingness to win for the town and for the jersey. We absolutely want to sustain our professional stature,” he said.

While Dundalk are behind other clubs in terms of tying down players for next season, Connolly said he was hopeful the bulk of those they wanted to keep would remain.

“It is a major challenge,” he said.

“You’d be surprised with the amount of players who haven’t signed a contract with a club. I have spoken with a number of players and I’ve really just asked them for a wee bit of time so that we can bring a wee bit of clarity to the situation and that we will come back with something for them and discuss things further.

“A lot of tough decisions are going to have to be made in Oriel Park to re-align the structure into a more sustainable League of Ireland football club. 12 months ago I was in this situation and I do have great sympathy for people who are coming to the end of their contracts. I’m very mindful of that and it’s not nice,” he said.

Connolly, who is working two days a week on the club’s behalf at present, asked the supporters to trust them.

“We’re asking for you the supporters to trust us that we’re going to put together a football club over time that you can be proud of, that you can identify with, that has the right structures and culture so that if somebody says what does Dundalk Football Club stand for, you’ll be able to know. So that players, managers and physios know what we’re about so they get the pride back in wearing the jersey - not only the players but the supporters - but that’s going to take a wee bit of time.

“Back us because we want to give you something that you can be proud of. Yes, make us accountable for our decisions because we want this football club to be yours.

“We are the current custodians of Dundalk Football Club. At the very least when we hand it over to the next ones, we want it to be in better shape than we found it. That’s our aim. May that take 5, 10, 15 or 20 years, that’s what we’re aiming for and hopefully we can be proud of what we’ve achieved together,” said Martin.