The takeover of Dundalk was completed during the week by American based consortium Peak6. It is a moved that has been broadly welcomed with supporters hoping that the new owners will invest in both the team and the ground with Oriel Park in bad need of an overhaul. Peak6 also own 25% of English Premier League side Bournemouth FC and are planning on holding a press conference in the next couple of weeks to outline their plans for the club. One immediate change that they have made is the appointment of former Sheffield United CEO Malachy Brannigan as their new General Manager. Stephen Kenny and his squad will also be flying out to Spain as part of their pre-season preparations and have announced that they will be playing two friendlies against two Asian sides. They will play Chinese League One side Shanghai Shenxin on January 31st and South Korean K League outfit FC Seoul on February 2nd. Both games are to be played at Pinatar Sports Areana, Murcia.
Their Premier Division rivals Cork City who of course dethroned Dundalk last season had a busy week on the player front as they brought in the highly experienced goalkeeper Peter Cherrie. Cherrie had been with Bray Wanderers last season and previously won the League with Dundalk. He will provide a strong back-up for Mark McNulty. They also brought back to the club their former striker Graham Cummins who was last with Scottish Premier League side St. Johnstone. Meanwhile forward Achille Campion has left the club as he has joined NIFL side Linfield on loan. Another striker Conor Ellis has also left as he signed for Munster side Limerick. The Shannonsiders also re-signed their former right back Shaun Kelly and brought in Mark O’Sullivan from their Munster rivals Waterford FC. In what seems to be a well-connected conveyor belt down in the South of the country Waterford signed John Kavanagh on loan from Cork. Waterford also announced the signing during the week of former Ajax, Portsmouth and Notts County midfielder Stanley Aborah. And to round off this week’s wrap up Bray made headlines again as they were forced to list all but three players as trialists for their friendly against UCD. Rumours abound that the signing of the majority of their squad has been held up by the FAI who want to meet with the club as they seek assurances about their future.