Kenny keen to seal deals be­fore Spain

SOC­CER SSE AIRTRICITY LEAGUE PREMIER DI­VI­SION

The Argus - - SPORT - JAMES ROGERS Stephen Kenny.

DUN­DALK man­ager Stephen Kenny is hope­ful of hav­ing more new sign­ings on board by the time his side fly out for a train­ing camp in Spain next Wed­nes­day.

The Li­ly­whites will fly out to their base in Salou on Fe­bru­ary 1st for five days to pre­pare for the start of the sea­son.

While there they will play two matches, the de­tails of which have yet to be fully con­firmed.

As well as be­ing use­ful for train­ing pur­poses, such a trip will also al­low new sign­ings Sean Hoare, Ni­clas Vem­melund, Jamie McGrath and Conor Clif­ford bond with their new team-mates.

How­ever, that quar­tet might not be the only new re­cruits on board the flight to Spain with Kenny ad­mit­ting to The Ar­gus on Mon­day that ‘we could have six or seven new sign­ings in by that time.’

While the man­ager said it was his pref­er­ence to have all his trans­fer deal­ings done be­fore the train­ing camp he said ‘he couldn’t guar­an­tee that.’

One player ex­pected to com­plete a per­ma­nent trans­fer this week is Ever­ton winger Steven Kin­sella, who spent the sec­ond half of last sea­son on loan at St Pa­trick’s Ath­letic.

The club are also still hope­ful that a deal can be ar­ranged with Celtic for for­mer Derry City winger Michael Duffy, who is cur­rently on loan at Dundee where he has made just one start for the Dens Park side all sea­son and hasn’t fea­tured for the first team since Oc­to­ber 26th in a 2-0 de­feat at home to Partick This­tle.

Kenny is also work­ing on an­other deal at present for what is be­lieved to be an­other wide player.

While there may be new ar­rivals at the club this week, Kenny said he was pleased with how the first week of pre-sea­son train­ing had gone with those al­ready on board for 2017.

‘Pre-sea­son has gone well so far and the play­ers have been show­ing a re­ally good at­ti­tude,’ he said.

‘I’ve been very im­pressed with them so far. Af­ter such a suc­cess­ful sea­son last year you never know how it will go, es­pe­cially af­ter such a short break, but I’ve been im­pressed with their ap­pli­ca­tion over­all.

‘The more ex­pe­ri­enced play­ers like Stephen O’Don­nell and Brian Gart­land have come back in good con­di­tion and are look­ing hun­gry, which is a very pos­i­tive sign.’

Two play­ers who have de­parted Oriel Park, at least tem­po­rar­ily, are Ciaran O’Con­nor and Ge­orgie Poyn­ton who have joined Finn Harps and Bo­hemi­ans on loan re­spec­tively.

Speak­ing about the moves, Kenny said both play­ers would ben­e­fit from their re­spec­tive loan spells and of­fered them hope that they could re­turn to the club in July by in­sist­ing they were still in his thoughts.

‘Ciaran and Ge­orge are two good lads who have come through the youth sys­tem and done very well but they need games.

‘Ciaran has had a frus­trat­ing spell with in­juries and it com­pletely dis­rupted his sea­son last year. Now he just needs to play.

‘We could have kept him as an op­tion out wide but his best po­si­tion is up front and it would have been hard for him to get game time for us there be­cause we have David McMil­lan and Ciaran Kil­duff who got 34 goals be­tween them last sea­son.

‘We just felt it would be good for both lads to go and get games but the deals are only un­til July and we have kept their squad num­bers, 17 and 20, open.’

Kenny also in­sisted that it was dif­fi­cult for young play­ers not in the first team to find game time af­ter they fin­ished at U-19 level and said an­other un­der­age league would ben­e­fit clubs across the coun­try as the cur­rent gap be­tween U-19 and first-team foot­ball was ‘mas­sive’.

‘An U-21 league would be use­ful but there should be at least an U-20 league be­cause at the mo­ment there’s nowhere for young play­ers to go af­ter U-19 if they’re not in a first team. That can lead to them drop­ping down to ju­nior foot­ball which is not what you want to see,’ he said.

Dun­dalk’s cur­rent pre-sea­son sched­ule:

- Mon­day Jan­uary 30th – Gle­navon at Mourneview

- Wed­nes­day Fe­bru­ary 1st – Sun­day Fe­bru­ary 5th – Span­ish train­ing camp in Salou. Two matches TBC.

- Thurs­day Fe­bru­ary 9th – Le­in­ster Se­nior Cup vs St Pat’s CY, Ringsend, 7.45pm

- Tues­day Fe­bru­ary 14th – Friendly vs Long­ford Town, City Call­ing Sta­dium, 7.45pm

- Fri­day Fe­bru­ary 17th – Pres­i­dent’s Cup fi­nal vs Cork City, Turner’s Cross.

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