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Sunday 24 September 2017

Finn feels fine about being a home bird

A RUN in Europe, and not a move to England, is now the priority for Dundalk star Ronan Finn as he plans to complete the next chapter in his career.

After a four-year spell with Shamrock Rovers, Finn has swapped the green and white hoops for the Lilywhite shirt of Dundalk and has contributed to a good start to the new season for Stephen Kenny's side, successive wins (and clean sheets) to start off Dundalk's title defence.

A former U21 cap, Finn has repeatedly been linked with a transfer to England but while his old buddy Shaun Williams soldiers away with Millwall, Finn admits that, at 27, a cross-channel career is off the agenda and instead his ambition is a run in the Champions League.

"I think at this stage of my career, playing in England is unlikely," said Finn, speaking at FAI HQ yesterday to promote the Irish Blood Transfusion Service's Platelets Awareness campaign.

"When you play in Ireland, you play like you want to get away, that's how it has been, you want to perform to make people watch you and take note. But I have signed a two-year deal with Dundalk so moving away is not really going to happen. For whatever reason, it's never happened for me in terms of a move abroad. Maybe inconsistency was an issue, maybe I didn't want it badly enough at the key times," added Finn, who came close to moving to Burnley in 2013.

"Over the winter there was a bit of talk about a move away and I was holding off to see what happened. I was speaking to one club in particular but once I felt that it wasn't really what I wanted, or wasn't going to turn out how I hoped, my mind was made up about staying in Ireland and going to Dundalk. Once that move was put to bed I was happy to sign for Dundalk.

move on

"I spoke to Pat Fenlon and I explained why I wasn't signing back for Rovers, there was no bad blood with me leaving but I wanted to move on and I wanted to work with Stephen Kenny again.

"That's life and you just adapt to it. I am at a really good club and I have big ambitions in Europe now. I had good times in Europe with Rovers, and looking at the team we have now at Dundak, if we get a good draw we could go far in the Champions League. Dundalk did really well in Europe last season, they won three of the four games," added Finn, pleased with the club's start in 2015.

"It's hard to retain the league, I know that from Rovers, and it's a real challenge for us. But we have a good squad here and we've had a great start, two wins and two clean sheets."

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