It’s just as well that Chris Shields got a new contract at Oriel Park last week as he has already had to fork out to keep his loved one happy just a game into the new season.
The midfielder put pen to paper on a new deal until the end of the 2021 campaign last Thursday which will bring his stay at Dundalk up to 10 seasons having originally joined the club back in January 2012.
While the negotiation process for that deal was relatively straight forward, he would have had a harder time informing his wife Shauna that not alone was he going to miss St Valentine’s Day due to work commitments but also her 30th birthday.
Thankfully, Shields and co helped deliver the three points against Derry City to make the trip home that little bit easier.
Asked after the game how Shauna felt about him missing her birthday, Shields smiled: “She’ll be happy enough with three points and she got a nice trip out of me so I got away with it today.”
On his new deal, he added: “It was a great week and a great way to round it off as well because the main thing was always to get the three points. It’s an added bonus getting the deal done though because now I can just concentrate on football for the next two years.”
The 29-year-old, who captained the Lilywhites on the night, said a winning start was most important.
“As I’m sure a few of the boys pointed out, we’re two points better off than we were at this stage last year and a point better off than we were after two games last year so it’s good to get a winning start. It’s important to start well and I think we have tonight.
“It’s nice to start with a home win, especially against a team who gave us a few problems last year and gave us a few problems. It was nice to put that to bed as well.
“We were the dominant team tonight. I think they maybe looked to sit in and thought a draw would be a good result for them but I think it’s a testament to our squad that we’re always able to dig in deep and score late goals.”
Shields was full of praise for match winner Dane Massey and said there was more to come from his side.
“He always gets a few every season and that could be an important one tonight,” he said.
“I thought we looked a threat from set pieces. I thought it was inevitable we were going to score because there was a goalmouth scramble, we hit the bar and stuff like that but thankfully Dane scored.
“We’re still getting to know players and patterns and things like that but it’s hard when you come up against a team with two banks of four. It can be hard to break teams down but I think we’re going to get that in about 90% of the games here where teams come here looking to do that and then look to catch us on the break.”
Next up for Dundalk is a trip to Tolka Park to face newly promoted Shelbourne and it’s one that Shields says he can’t wait for.
“I’d imagine they’ll have a big crowd in for their first game back in the Premier Division because they’re obviously a big club.
“It’ll be a good game to be involved in. Any time we’ve played in Tolka when I’ve been here we’ve always had a great travelling support and I think it’ll make for a great game. It’s a ground I’ve missed playing in. It’s good to have them back in the league as well,” he said.