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Dundalk's delight at new deals

DUNDALK have managed to keep hold of their captain Stephen O'Donnell in spite of interest from his former club Shamrock Rovers, writes AIDAN FITZMAURICE.

But the Lilywhites may have to manage without last season's top scorer Pat Hoban in 2015 as he's in line for a move to League Two side Oxford United.

Since the end of last season Dundalk boss Stephen Kenny has made just one new signing, keeper Gary Rogers arriving from Sligo Rovers, as his focus was on keeping the key men from their league-winning squad at Oriel Park.

And captain O'Donnell, as well as defender Sean Gannon, have followed the example of team-mates such as Daryl Horgan, Kurtis Byrne and Andy Boyle by penning new deals.

"I am absolutely delighted to get things sorted and staying, obviously I can't wait to get playing again now," says O'Donnell who came back after a six-month injury layoff to play a crucial part in their title success, scoring the opening goal in that last day win over Cork City.

"We have a lot to look forward to next season with the Champions League as well," added O'Donnell, who was a target for other clubs, as was impressive young defender Gannon.

But boss Kenny does not expect to have Hoban, joint top scorer in the league last season, at the club next term as Oxford have reportedly offered him a deal.