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Monday 21 August 2017

'Honoured' Boyle wants title glory

DUNDALK'S club captain Stephen O'Donnell has already joked that he didn't plan to do a 'John Terry' and gatecrash any trophy celebrations during his lengthy lay-off due to injury.

And Dubliner Andy Boyle, who has stood in as club skipper since O'Donnell was sidelined in April, says he doesn't care who lifts the Premier Division trophy at Oriel Park tomorrow night, as long as it's a Dundalk player.

Dundalk and Cork City go head-to-head for the league title on Friday night, Dundalk needing a win to land their first league success in 19 years. There has already been some comment on Leeside about premature celebrations of a Dundalk success - one prominent Dundalk fan has posted on social media his 'Dundalk champions 2014' tattoo while Cork fans have also noted the pre-game sale of 'champions' t-shirts for Lilywhites fans.

So Boyle is not too keen to get carried away with himself in terms of planning celebrations but he says he has no issue over whether he or initial club captain O'Donnell - who is just back to fitness after a six-month absence - take the trophy.

"It's a great honour to captain the side but Stephen is the captain of the club. Come tomorrow night, it doesn't matter who lifts the trophy, it's all about winning the league," says Boyle.

"I've enjoyed being captain, it's been a great experience and hopefully we can cap it off by going and winning a league."

Boyle is one of those players whose career was drifting until he was lured to Dundalk by Stephen Kenny, after spells with UCD and Shelbourne and even he admits that a title challnge this season is a surprise.

"I don't think we would have seen it last year," says Boyle.

"We knew with Stephen coming out here he wasn't coming up to make up the numbers. He obviously has a great pedigree in the league. When I spoke to him I had no doubts about coming up here.

"When I saw the players he wanted to sign, I was looking forward to it from the minute he rang me.

"I was talking to a few clubs. I was coming from Shels, I spoke to Pat's but I think I made the right decision. I haven't regretted it once."

afitzmaurice@herald.ie

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