Former Dundalk goalkeeper Van Boxtel sentenced to 10 years in prison

Van Boxtel in action for Dundalk

Van Boxtel in action for Dundalk

Former Dundalk goalkeeper Eddie Van Boxtel has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for possession of cannabis worth €3.5m

Two and a half years of the sentence were suspended following the case at Naas Circuit Court today.

Van Boxtel – a member of the Dundalk side who won the Premier Division title in 1995 – was arrested on February 6th 2008 at Castlewarden South, Kill, Co Kildare and charged with possession of cannabis resin worth €3.5m for sale or supply.

The 41-year-old, who resides in Silloge Avenue in Ballymun in Dublin, has been in custody since February 28th last year.

Despite being one of several men arrested initially in February 2008, he was only arrested last February after gardaí executed a six-year-old warrant for his arrest.

Although he played for a time at Leeds United and at a number of other League of Ireland clubs, arguably Van Boxtel’s most famous sporting moment came when he saved a penalty from Eric Cantona, who was then playing for Manchester United, during a friendly at Oriel Park.

Higgins set to depart Dundalk FC

SPT_20140806_Spo_040_32517168_I1Ruaidhrí Higgins has left Dundalk FC just weeks before the start of the new campaign.

The 30-year-old was part of Stephen Kenny’s side that won the league title last year and signed on for another campaign at Oriel Park before Christmas.

However, the club have announced today that they have mutually agreed to terminate Higgins’ contract to allow him to sign for Coleraine FC in his native Derry.

It is understood that Higgins will pen a two and a half year deal at The Showgrounds with his departure prompted by the fact that Richie Towell will be remaining at Dundalk.

Towell pledges commitment to Dundalk FC as club return for pre-season training

Richie Towell will be amongst the Dundalk players returning for pre-season training today

Richie Towell will be amongst the Dundalk players returning for pre-season training today

Dundalk FC report back for pre-season training this afternoon with Richie Towell giving the firmest commitment yet that he will still be around when the new season kicks off on March 6th.

In an interview in this week’s Argus, the midfielder has revealed he has turned down a number of moves to the UK in recent weeks and said he would be happy to remain at Oriel Park in 2015.

“I got offered a couple of contracts over in England and Scotland but they weren’t the contracts that I wanted,” he said.

“I said from day one that I wasn’t going to go over and join a club that I didn’t want to be at. I wasn’t going to join a club on the terms that I didn’t want to be there on. The contracts that have been offered to me just didn’t suit me.

“They’re still interested at the moment but obviously they’re not coming up to the demands that I want so I just need to focus on my pre-season now.

“I’m a Dundalk player now and I’m actually really looking forward to just getting going.

“We’ve our pre-season starting now and I just have to focus on that.

“I made the decision to sign back for Dundalk. Nobody peer pressured me into doing it. It was something that I felt was the best move for me.

“As a player and as a person I think you have to stand by your own decisions and I stand by mine. I love being at Dundalk. They’re a really good club with good players and a good manager so if I was to stay here in Ireland there would be no other team for me.

“I don’t want to feel like I’m being pressured into going to a club just purely so I can say I play in England or I play in Scotland. That’s not what I’m about.

“I take a lot of consideration into everything that I do and anyone who knows me knows that I give 100% to anything I do so if I’m committed to something I’m going to give it my all.

“With regard to the moves, I just didn’t fancy them at the time because of different situations but I’m actually just looking forward now to getting the ball back at my feet. We’ve worked hard the last two years that I’ve been here to aspire to things like the Champions League and I would be gutted if I missed it to be honest,” he said.

You can read the full interview in this week’s Argus.

Meanwhile, former Dundalk FC goalkeeper Peter Cherrie has completed a move to Cliftonville having been released at the end of last season by the Lilywhites.

Dundalk boss Kenny scoops Personality of the Year award

Dundalk FC manager Stephen Kenny was named the SSE Airtricity / Soccer Writers’ Association of Ireland’s Personality of the Year winner at an event in the Conrad Hotel in Dublin on Friday night.

The title-winning manager collected the award on the night despite his father passing away earlier that day.

Amongst those he pipped to the award were his own players, Richie Towell and Pat Hoban, as well as rival managers John Caulfield and Liam Buckley.

Dundalk goalkeeper Peter Cherrie, who has since departed Oriel Park, missed out on the Goalkeeper of the Year award to Cork City’s Mark McNulty.

Former Lilywhite manager Liam Tuohy was honoured on the night also after picking up the Special Merit award for his contribution to Irish football.

You can view highlights of the awards above.

Dundalk FC received fines of over €20,000 last season

DundalkCrest2010Dundalk FC received fines of over €20,000 last season over the conduct of the club’s supporters.

In total the Oriel Park outfit paid out €21,125 in fines during the 2014 campaign.

The largest portion of this was a €15,000 fine imposed by UEFA for the flying of a Palestinian flag during the club’s Europa League clash against Hajduk Split last summer.

The initial fine had been €18,000 but was reduced on appeal.

The remaining €6,125 in fines was paid to the FAI for a combination of offences including the lighting of flares and pitch invasions.

On a more positive note the club are close to agreeing a new two year contract with manager Stephen Kenny.

Meanwhile, the club’s Leinster Senior Cup clash with UCD will take place on Tuesday February 10th at 7.45pm in Oriel Park.

New Dundalk FC Supporters’ Club to launch next month

DundalkCrest2010A new official Dundalk FC Supporters’ Club will be launched next month.

The Lilywhite Supporters’ Club aims to run alongside the club to raise both funds and the profile of the club.

Set to be run as an independent group, it will be launched in McGuinness’ pub in Anne Street (formerly Peadar McArdle’s) on Thursday February 5th at 8.30pm.

On the night there will be a Q&A with Dundalk FC players Stephen O’Donnell, Brian Gartland and Gary Rogers, as well as a few words from ex-Lilywhite Tom McNulty.

A raffle will also take place on the night where the prizes will include a season ticket and a home jersey.

Membership of the Supporters’ Club is €30 for the year, which can be paid in two installments. A family membership is also available at €50.

Those involved on the committee of the new Supporters’ Club are Alan Gray, Stuart McDonnell, Aidan Larkin, David Curran, Conor Hoey, Chris Clarke, Andrew Gallagher, Keith Wallace, Declan O’Shaughnessy, Dean Arrowsmith and Mark Murray.

You can keep track of the Supporters Club via their Facebook page.

Meanwhile, manager Stephen Kenny has reportedly agreed terms on a contract extension with Dundalk.

Former Dundalk winger McDermott signs for Salford City

Paul Scholes and Philip Neville in the dug out for Salford City last weekend

Paul Scholes and Philip Neville in the dug out for Salford City last weekend

Donal McDermott might have left Oriel Park without much fanfare at the end of last season but don’t be surprised to see his name popping up in the near future.

The winger, who joined the club last summer and featured sparingly from the bench as Dundalk won the title, was not retained by Stephen Kenny at the end of last season and was not a part of the club’s victory parade.

However, the former Manchester City youth – who hails from Co Meath – has now opted to try his luck across the water again with the Manchester-based, Salford City FC.

While the Evo-Stik First Division North outfit are hardly a household name, they could well be in years to come because of their new owners.

Manchester Utd’s famous Class of 92 took over the club last year with Gary Neville, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt and Phil Neville taking over at the start of the current English league season.

Last September a 50% stake in the club was also sold to Singaporean billionaire Peter Lim with the club aiming to be in the Championship within 15 years.

While that’s a lofty target, the club have been making headlines of late with both Scholes and Phil Neville pictured in the dug out as recently as last Saturday for Salford’s 2-1 victory over Kendal Town.

While their appearance in the dug out was only temporary following the decision to sack the management team of Phil Power and Dave Chadwick, it won’t be a surprise to see them at more matches in the future.

Amongst the players that McDermott will be linking up with include former Manchester Utd youth Danny Webber.

Dundalk paired with UCD in Leinster Senior Cup

DundalkCrest2010Dundalk will take on UCD at Oriel Park in the fourth round of the Leinster Senior Cup following last night’s draw in Abbotstown.

A date and time for the game has yet to be confirmed but if Stephen Kenny’s side advance then they will face a trip to Wexford to face either non-league North End United or their neighbours Wexford Youths.

The draw in full is as follows:

1 Athlone Town v Shamrock Rovers; 2 Crettyard Utd (Car) v Crumlin United (LSL); 3 Bohemians FC v Bray Wanderers; 4 Longford Town v Drogheda United; 5 North End United (Wex) v Wexford Youths; 6 Dundalk FC v UCD; 7 Shelbourne FC v Newtown United (WDL); 8 St Patrick’s Athletic v Tolka Rovers (LSL).

Quarter/finals: 5 v 6; 8 v 2; 4 v 1; 7 v 3. Dates and venues to be confirmed.

Dundalk defender Kelly completes move to Glenavon

Simon Kelly

Simon Kelly

Dundalk defender Simon Kelly has completed a transfer to Danske Bank Premiership side Glenavon.

The Oaklawns man (30) has signed an 18 month contract with the Lurgan outfit after failing to secure a new contract at Oriel Park for the 2015 season.

Kelly, who first made his debut for Dundalk under Trevor Anderson back in 2003, was part of Stephen Kenny’s title-winning squad last season but failed to make a single league appearance. He did, however, pick up a red card after both he and former Lilywhite Philip Hughes were dismissed following an altercation in the tunnel at United Park back on the opening day of the season.

Kenny had signed Kelly in July 2013 for what was his third spell in the club but he can now look forward to a new adventure north of the border, where he has previously played for Ballymena Utd.

Flu has ruled Kelly out of a debut against old club Ballymena today but he could feature against Dungannon Swifts on Tuesday night at Mourneview Park.

Former Dundalk and Drogheda Utd striker Declan ‘Fabio’ O’Brien will be amongst Kelly’s new team-mates at the Armagh club.

Kelly is the second of last season’s defence to depart the club in recent days following Mark Rossiter’s move to Longford Town. They have been replaced by Shane Grimes and Paddy Barrett from last season’s squad.

Dundalk complete Finn signing

DundalkCrest2010Dundalk FC have announced the signing of Ronan Finn from Shamrock Rovers.

The midfielder, a former Irish U-21 cap, is the latest addition to Stephen Kenny’s squad ahead of the new season.

Speaking to after signing for the club, Finn was pleased to finally get the deal done and pointed to his relationship with Kenny as a key factor in his move.

“I’m very happy to get it done finally. It was never in doubt really. It was going to happen but with holidays and work it just didn’t. It’s great to get it done and before Christmas as well is a plus. I can’t wait to get started and I am really happy to be at Dundalk.

“Stephen was the main reason I wanted to come here. I have a great relationship with him. I played really well for him before and I just want to get back to that again. He’s a really good person and he’s a great manager. It’s all positive and I am very excited about the year ahead now. Signing for the best club in the country is great and it’s a very exciting time for the fans and the town so hopefully we can push on and do well next year.”