Dundalk FC are expected to finalise a number of deals this week as the club gear up for a return to pre-season training.
With the FAI confirming that the league would re-commence on March 19th following the announcement that SSE Airtricity had renewed their sponsorship of the competition for another two years last week, it is also expected that fixtures will be released before the end of the month.
As revealed by The Argus two weeks ago, Sam Stanton remains the club’s top priority at present and it is understood that a deal for the Scottish midfielder is close.
The 26-year-old, who had most recently been on the books of Phoenix Rising in America, had been on trial at Scottish Premiership side Ross County but departed last week to pursue a deal with another club.
Ross County boss John Hughes said: “He has decided to go elsewhere.
“He was a young kid at Hibs with me that had everything in front of him. You could see the quality he had. For some reason he has never really fulfilled that potential. He was always in my book for when he became available. When I brought him here on trial he enjoyed it. I told him he needed to play football in the Premiership and make a name for himself and be the Sam Stanton we all knew as a young kid. He was right up for it. It just so happens that there’s another club come in for him. He felt that’s where he wants to be. No hard feelings.”
The club are also expected to push through a deal for South Korean winger Han Eui-kwon following his departure from the Suwon Samsung Bluewings, although that one could take a little longer due to the requirement for a work permit.
With American underage international Alex Rando also set to arrive, attention will also move towards the recruitment of another more senior goalkeeper to challenge recent recruit Alessio Abibi for the number one jersey.
Off the field, Dundalk have added Lorcan Mason to their coaching staff after two years with the Shamrock Rovers academy.
The 23-year-old has been brought in as the new first-team sports scientist following Adam Fox’s departure and will assist strength and conditioning coach Graham Norton.
One person who will not be working behind the scenes at Oriel Park next season though is club doctor Dr David Connolly whose departure from the club was confirmed last week.
Dr Connolly had worked with Dundalk since just before the Champions League tie with FH Hafnarfjordur in the summer of 2016.
“I would like to publicly thank David for his expertise and guidance during his time at Oriel Park,” said Lilywhites sporting director Jim Magilton.
“We wish him well with his future endeavours and we look forward to seeing him back at Oriel Park, cheering the team on, in the, hopefully, not too distant future.”