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Keith Ward heads back to Oriel Park while Chris Forrester remains with Saints

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Chris Forrester of St Patrick's Athletic with his Premier Division team of the year award during the PFA Ireland Awards at The Marker Hotel last weekend. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Chris Forrester of St Patrick's Athletic with his Premier Division team of the year award during the PFA Ireland Awards at The Marker Hotel last weekend. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Chris Forrester of St Patrick's Athletic with his Premier Division team of the year award during the PFA Ireland Awards at The Marker Hotel last weekend. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Dundalk are still trying to clear the legal hurdles needed before they can confirm Stephen O’Donnell as their new manager, but they have managed to add to their squad with the capture of Bohemians man Keith Ward.

And O’Donnell’s former club, St Patrick’s Athletic, have also been busy with confirmation that key midfielder Chris Forrester has signed a new long-term deal.

O’Donnell resigned as Saints boss on Friday night but with Pat’s disputing his contractual status with them, and the complication of O’Donnell not having the required UEFA Pro-Licence coaching qualification, he has not yet been named as manager at Oriel Park.

But Ward, who played alongside O’Donnell at Dundalk in 2013-’14, will be back at Oriel Park in 2022 as he has agreed a return, another departure from Dalymount Park with Rob Cornwall also on his way, joining USA second-tier side Northern Colorado Hailstorm.

Pat’s have work to do on retaining their squad with key men out of contract but it was a major boost for new boss Tim Clancy to hear that Forrester had opted to re-sign. 

“I am delighted to be back at the club and thankful for another opportunity to play for a club that means so much to me.

“I can’t wait to get going again next season,” Forrester said.

Shelbourne, having already raided Donegal to sign striker Seán Boyd from Finn Harps, swooped again to land Harps midfielder Mark Coyle, their player of the year last season.

“It is brilliant that Mark has decided to join Shelbourne Football Club. He has an amazing desire and hunger to win, on top of his impressive footballing qualities. He wears his heart on his sleeve and he is someone that the fans, the players and staff will relate to,” manager Damien Duff said.

Dayle Rooney moves on from Shels, joining Drogheda United.

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