Sunday 21 July 2019

Dundalk re-sign defender Andy Boyle after stint in England

Andy Boyle is pictured after re-signing for Dundalk
Andy Boyle is pictured after re-signing for Dundalk
Defender Andy Boyle has re-signed for Dundalk. Photo: David Maher/Sportsfile

Andy Boyle has re-signed for Dundalk after a two-and-a-half year stint in the UK.

The Dublin-born defender, 28, will join the reigning League of Ireland Premier Division champions on July 1.

The former Lilywhites centre-back returns to Oriel Park as a free agent following a period in England with Championship side Preston North End.

Having failed to establish himself as a regular at Deepdale, Boyle went on loan to Doncaster Rovers, Dundee and Ross County.

Former Bray Wanderers stopper Boyle was a mainstay of the Dundalk side under Stephen Kenny from 2013 to 2016 and was named in the PFAI Premier Division Team of the Year for each of those four seasons, as he helped the Louth club to three consecutive league titles, an FAI Cup and an EA Sports Cup.

"I'm delighted to get the deal done," said Boyle. "The changes to the place since I left are amazing. The facilities for the players here now, I think it shows the club is only going one way and I just want to be a part of it."

Boyle shone in the Lilywhites' 2016 Europa League run and earned himself a call-up to Martin O'Neill's provisional Republic of Ireland squad to face Austria in November 2016, while still a Dundalk player. He made his international debut in March 2017.

Dundalk head coach Vinny Perth said: "We're really pleased to have Andy back. The difficulty when you sign players is that it takes them a while to understand how we do things and understand our ethos. But Andy knows what we’re about. He’s part of our culture, he’s part of what we've achieved over the last six seasons, so it's a perfect fit for us."

Boyle returns to the Louth club at a busy time as they prepare for to face Latvian champions Riga in the Champions League first qualifying round, the first leg of which is on July 10.

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