Will Patching will be back at Oriel Park when Dundalk return for pre-season training this weekend.
The 22-year-old former English underage international signed for the Lilywhites at the start of last season but made just nine appearances in total and hasn’t featured since being taken off after just 55 minutes of the side’s 0-0 draw at home to Finn Harps at the start of October.
Having been left out of Dundalk’s squad for the Europa League campaign, rumours had circulated that the former Manchester City midfielder could be set for an early exit from Oriel Park but he is going to be given another chance to prove himself by head coach Filippo Giovagnoli.
Patching has impressed his team-mates numerous times in training during his time at Oriel Park and the club remain hopeful he can start to produce that in matches this season.
Another youngster who will be hopeful of more first-team minutes this season is young wing back Val Adedokun who put pen-to-paper on a new two-year contract with the club last week.
Part of the club’s academy since arriving from Malahide Utd in 2017, the 17-year-old Irish underage international signed his first professional contract at Oriel Park last January before going on to make his first-team debut when he came off the bench in the 4-0 SSE Airtricity League defeat at home to Shamrock Rovers at the end of September.
Will Patching, Joshua Gatt and Dane Massey were the unfortunate trio to miss out when Dundalk submitted their squad for the group stages of the Europa League last week.
Massey, who has featured in 28 European matches for the club, has a long-term injury while Patching and Gatt were unable to be included in the panel as the Lilywhites had reached quotas for non-home grown players.
Giovagnoli said it was a difficult decision to leave players out but said those impacted had taken it well. “It’s always difficult to leave out players but you have to make decisions and by the rules I could only name a certain number of players and I had to make tough decisions,” he said.
“I did that by what I’ve seen on the pitch and who can give the team at this moment the best support.
“I would love to bring everyone with me but I can’t. We had decisions to make but the players are professional and they accepted it.”
Teenager Jamie Wynne, who was part of the squad for the trip to Moldova and the playoff win over KÍ Klaksvik, is named on List B which includes players born on or after January 1st, 1998 who have been eligible to play for the club for an uninterrupted period of two years after their 15th birthday.
Elsewhere in Group B, Mesut Ozil was the high-profile omission from Arsenal’s squad for the group stages. The Dundalk Europa League squad in full is as follows…
Goalkeepers: Gary Rogers, Aaron McCarey, Jimmy Corcoran.
Defenders: Sean Gannon, Brian Gartland, Sean Hoare, Darragh Leahy, Daniel Cleary, Cameron Dummigan, Andy Boyle.
Midfielders: Chris Shields, Jordan Flores, John Mountney, Greg Sloggett, Patrick McEleney, Sean Murray, Stefan Colovic, Daniel Kelly.
Attackers: Michael Duffy, Patrick Hoban, Nathan Oduwa, David McMillan, Jamie Wynne.