Dundalk appoint former player Stephen McDonnell as the club's new academy manager

Thu, Jan 07 2021

None Credit: Michael P Ryan (ETPhotos)

FAI Cup holders Dundalk have confirmed the appointment of Stephen McDonnell as the club’s new full-time academy manager.

The 28-year-old former player made 61 appearances for the Lilywhites from 2010 to 2013 – and he is hoping that he can help develop players for the club’s first-team side.

“Dundalk has been one of the most respected and successful clubs in the country and ambassadors for the League of Ireland in Europe and now is the time to ensure that our academy system follows suit,” McDonnell told Dundalk’s media team after his appointment.

“I am proud to have played for my hometown club, but it also saddens me that I am one of the last from Dundalk to have pulled on that famous white jersey and ran out in front of a packed Shed at Oriel Park.”

He added: “This club has a rich history of producing some of the country’s finest talents, from the Tommy McConville’s and Barry Kehoe’s to the David Crawley’s and John Murphy’s, and we want to get back to that.”

McDonnell had to retire from professional football at the age of 22, and he has since gone on to be a first-team coach with Irish League side Warrenpoint Town.

He has also worked with the IFA under current Dundalk Sporting Director Jim Magilton who added: “This is an important appointment for the club and it’s a step that we all felt needed to be taken.

“We want to create a pathway for all of the best players in Dundalk and the surrounding areas and develop them into top class, first-team players.”

He finished: “I think this is the perfect appointment. He has a real connection and bond with the club and will undoubtedly help us with our aim to produce top-class players.”

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