Thursday 23 May 2019

Dundalk captain Stephen O'Donnell set to retire from football and join club's coaching staff

26 October 2018; Stephen O'Donnell of Dundalk during the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division match between Bohemians and Dundalk at Dalymount Park in Dublin. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
26 October 2018; Stephen O'Donnell of Dundalk during the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division match between Bohemians and Dundalk at Dalymount Park in Dublin. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

Dundalk captain Stephen O'Donnell is set to retire from football and take up a role on the club's backroom staff.

It's believed that negotiations are at an advanced stage and a deal should be confirmed before the end of the week.

Injuries have plagued the Galwegian in recent seasons and he missed the bulk of last term after suffering a leg break in May.

One of O'Donnell's briefs will be to take over Ruaidhri Higgins' role as opposition scout - Higgins has been promoted to assistant to new head coach Vinny Perth in the shake-up following Stephen Kenny's departure.

However, it's understood that O'Donnell will have a slightly broader role that will involve some coaching and helping out in the area of player recruitment. The exact details should become clearer in the next 24 hours.

O'Donnell has been a central figure in Dundalk's revival and Perth and the Oriel Park authorities were keen to have him around the club.

The ex-Arsenal trainee was at a low ebb when he joined Kenny's brand new team at the start of the 2013 season.

He went on to play a role in four league title wins to go with the two league medals he had collected at Bohemians and Shamrock Rovers.

The 32-year-old was also influential in their European run in 2016, particularly in the vital win over BATE Borisov that secured Dundalk's golden ticket to group stage football.

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