Peter Cherrie insists he has not come back to Oriel Park to sit on the bench after re-signing for Dundalk almost six years and four months on from his last game for the club.
As first revealed by The Argus, the 37-year-old goalkeeper sealed an emotional return to the club he first joined from Clyde in his native Scotland back in the summer of 2009 last week.
In his initial spell at Oriel Park, Cherrie made 237 appearances for the club and won an EA Sports Cup and league title in his final season in 2014.
Since then he has had spells at Cliftonville, Bray Wanderers, Cork City and Derry City with his future very much up in the air following his release by the Candystripes at the end of last season.
However, Cherrie’s career has been given a lifeline in the wake of being invited in to train with his old club recently by former team-mate and current Dundalk FC academy manager Stephen McDonnell.
Now having secured a contract for the forthcoming season, Cherrie told dundalkfc.com that he is not just here to sit on the bench and wants to push Albanian Alessio Abibi for the starting position between the sticks.
“It has never been in my nature to come and sit on a bench. It’s just not in me. If that day comes then I may as well retire,” he told the Black and White Town podcast.
“I know a lot of people go on about me being 37 but that really doesn’t matter. To be honest it gets on my nerves when people say that because at the end of the day it’s all about how the body feels. If I can still do it out on the pitch and the boys are confident in me then that’s all I need to know.
“You look at the likes of Buffon going on into his 40s and that shows age doesn’t matter. It’s all about the body.
“I’m not here to sit on the bench and hope I get in. I’m here to push every single day and I will work every single day and I’ve told the boss that as well because I might only have a couple of years or a year left in me so I’m going to come in every day as if it’s my last.”
Cherrie, who still lives locally in Ardee, said he was as surprised as anyone that the move came about.
Asked what he would have said if he had been told he would be back at Oriel Park just a few weeks ago, he said: “I’d have probably said no chance, it’s never going to happen because I know all the success Dundalk have had over recent years and people would probably have said Peter is getting on a bit and he’s not at that level but when I got the call I thought ‘yeah, I know I’ve still got it so I’m going to give it a push’ and now I’m absolutely delighted.
“It came about because of Stephen McDonnell, who I know very well. I was just chatting away with him and he said to me about maybe coming in and training with Dundalk. I said it would make more sense because it’s local and easier.
“He phoned me up one night and said the boss said you can come in and train no problem and it just sort of steamrolled from there and I’m absolutely delighted that it did,” said Cherrie.