Stephen O’Donnell defends Patrick Hoban’s sale as Robbie Mahon and Mayowa Animasahun commit to 2024 at Oriel Park

Dundalk boss Stephen O’Donnell has claimed that Patrick Hoban’s departure from the club was in the ‘best interest of both parties’.

Hoban was unveiled as a Derry City player on Wednesday after an undisclosed fee was agreed between the Lilywhites and the Candsytripes.

And while concerns have been raised in Co Louth by the deal, O’Donnell was quick to ease those fears as Dundalk’s 150-goal striker left.

“We had a sit down in person for a coffee before the game with Bohemians in October and had a chat about many different things,” he told his club’s website

“There was a lot of uncertainty at the time, and we talked about where the club was at, and where we felt the club was going.

“I felt it was an amicable and constructive meeting but from media reports in the days that followed, Pat came out of it and felt that it was the end of the line for him at Dundalk.

“Once a player has that in their head, it was best for both parties to start afresh and find an agreement that was fair for both.

“The prerequisite for a team trying to achieve goals and win trophies is for everyone to have an all-for-one, one for all mentality and to be striving towards the same goal.

“Pat has been an unbelievable servant to Dundalk and he is the club’s record goalscorer. The numbers are there to show the contribution he made to the club and nobody will ever take that away from him and everyone here wishes him well.”

Meanwhile, Dundalk have acted swiftly in the transfer market with the arrival of Robbie Mahon.

The former Bohemians youth joins the Lilywhites from Motherwell in Scotland.

“Robbie will bring lots of pace, he can carry the ball well, he has a good left foot and he will be a real threat on transitions,” O’Donnell added.

“He is still only 20 but he has shown that he can play and score goals in men’s football. We spoke to people in Scotland and his attitude and workrate is exceptional and he’ll bring a lot to the team and the dressing room.”

Mahon will be joined by Mayowa Animasahun at Oriel Park ahead of the new season.

Animasahun, 20, has been on the books of Dundalk for a number of years and recently lined out for Northern Irish top-flight side Dungannon Swifts on loan last year.

“The growth that Mayowa has made, both in his quality and fitness levels, since I first came to the club has been huge,” O’Donnell explained.

“He has massive scope to develop and he has every attribute you would want from a defender. 

“He has been training well since he returned from his loan spell last summer and now we want to see him develop even more in games.”