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Caulfield believes keeping likes of Healy key for Cork

CORK City boss John Caulfield believes that the re-signing of former Ireland international Colin Healy (pictured) on a new contract could lead to the side going one better in the league next season, by winning the Premier Division title.

A runner-up spot in 2014 has encouraged Cork to push for the title next term and while manager Caulfield has so far been slow to add new talent, with Karl Sheppard (Shamrock Rovers) the only confirmed new signing so far, he has been working away on retaining the key members of last season's squad.

And in the last 24 hours he has persuaded Healy and defender Dan Murray to sign new deals.

"Colin knows where we are trying to get to in 2015 - to make sure that we are back up there again and driving on," said Caulfield. "It is important for us to keep all of our best players, and I think Colin probably had his best season in a Cork City jersey last season. We are looking forward to next year and to Colin being at the top of his game, and driving the team forward again.

"Colin knows himself that he probably doesn't have too many seasons left, and wouldn't it be fantastic for him if he could end up with winners' medals with his local club. I am certainly looking forward to Colin being as good as he was this year, and I have no doubt he will be."

Dundalk, who beat Cork to the league title last season, are also working away on their squad for 2015 and they are close to agreeing terms on a new contract with captain Stephen O'Donnell.

The Galway lad, who recovered from a six-month layoff to help the side win the title on the last day of the season, was linked with a return to Shamrock Rovers but Dundalk boss Stephen Kenny has all but persuaded O'Donnell to commit to a new deal and stay at Oriel Park.