New recruit for the Lilywhites in Clifford
Former Chelsea prospect Conor Clifford is already hoping for success in Europe after making a move to Dundalk from the English non-league scene.
The midfielder, now 25, has spent the last 18 months with Boreham Wood, but Dubliner Clifford was keen to come home and he hopes that a spell in the league here, with the lure of Champions League football, could revive his career.
"Europe is something I am looking forward to this season. I watched Dundalk in the Champions League and Europa League last season and I was very impressed with them. The style of football was good and they played well," says Clifford.
"I want to do something similar this year. I want to help repeat that but I want to win trophies as well. I want to win things. That's the aim and hopefully we can achieve that."
Manager Stephen Kenny is aware of the tasks ahead but he is pleased to have landed Clifford. "We understand that there are challenges ahead this season.
"We will make sure that we have a very strong team and we are determined to hit the ground running," says Kenny.
Clifford, who trained with Dundalk on their first day back at pre-season yesterday, came to prominence with a talented Crumlin United side and joined Chelsea as a 16-year-old.
He progressed through the academy and impressed at international level: Giovanni Trapattoni called him up to the senior squad in 2011 and Clifford was an unused sub for four senior internationals.
But he was released by the Blues in 2013. He moved on to Leicester, Southend and Barnet before Boreham Wood.