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Wednesday 26 June 2019

Mikey sets his goals

Drennan targets prolific first season with Saints

Mikey Drennan has left Sligo Rovers to join St Pat’s, where Harry Kenny is putting a strong squad together. Photo: Sportsfile
Mikey Drennan has left Sligo Rovers to join St Pat’s, where Harry Kenny is putting a strong squad together. Photo: Sportsfile

New signing Mikey Drennan hopes that his move back to Dublin, with St Patrick's Athletic, can help bring success back to the Inchicore club.

New Saints boss Harry Kenny has done some impressive work on the transfer market in the off season, adding two more names this week with the capture of Drennan from Sligo Rovers and Brandon Miele move from Shamrock Rovers.

Still only 24, Drennan returned to the League of Ireland stage last season with Sligo, after a two-year spell out of the game due to personal reasons, and he has big ambitions for himself and his new club.

"A club like St Pat's should be challenging for honours," he says.

"The last few years haven't been great for Pat's but I remember when they were winning leagues and cups, and I want to bring that back.

"I am not going to Pat's just to play for a mid-table team, I want to go there and do well. I have ambitions of my own, I want to be up there scoring 15-20 goals a season but hopefully the club can win things as well. I haven't won a trophy yet and I want that to change.

"It was a difficult decision as I had a few offers, but I am delighted with the move, especially as it's only an hour up the road from home. Hopefully I can have a good year and do better than I have done before."

Budget

And the former U21 cap feels that uncertainty around the league, such as the departure of Stephen Kenny from Dundalk, budget cuts at Cork City and new managers at Derry City and Pat's, could make the 2019 title race more open.

"It could be the most open league for a few years, Dundalk will be strong no matter who the manager is," he says.

"But I feel the likes of ourselves, Cork, Shamrock Rovers, Waterford, Bohs, Derry and Sligo will all be competitive. I want us to challenge, I want us to be up there."

Upon his return to Ireland after a spell with Aston Villa, Drennan had an 18-month stay at Shamrock Rovers but he withdrew from senior football midway through the 2016 season, citing issues with depression.

He returned to his Kilkenny base, initially playing hurling and then returning to soccer with junior side Evergreen, before Sligo Rovers lured him back to the League of Ireland last term, and now he says his time at Sligo brought back his interest in the game.

"I wanted to be 100 percent when I went back, I didn't want to go somewhere and just have a kickaround, I wanted to give it my all when I went back, I did that with Sligo and I am enjoying football again," he says.

"So my aim is to go back and play and do better than I have ever done before. I have stayed in shape since the end of the season in October, I will get in a good pre-season, work hard and hopefully success will come from that.

"Key for me is enjoying your football; if you don't enjoy what you do you won't work hard. I am enjoying my football again now and I want to show people what I can do."

Drennan is one of five new signings made by Pat's and there are familiar faces as four of them (Drennan, Gary Shaw, Brandon Miele and Dave Webster) were all team-mates at Shamrock Rovers.

But he sees Pat's as a fresh start. "I did well with Brandon at Rovers, we had a good partnership and once I knew he was going to Pat's it made up my mind to go there too," he says.

"I loved my time at Sligo, Gerard Lyttle gave me a chance to go and play and I owe him a lot. I have the hunger and the love for the game back again."

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