It was St. Patrick’s Athletic who dominated the headlines last week in terms of the SSE Airtricity League. They made two signings which have seen them thrown into the mix for the title race in the Premier Division.
The first was the confirmation of the capture of midfielder Rhys McCabe from Sligo Rovers. McCabe who can also play on the wing or in behind the striker was his side’s most influential player over the past couple of seasons and will be hard replaced.
Their second signing was the one that got the most attention as Chris Forrester made his return to Richmond Park. He last played for the club from 2012 to 2015 winning the league and FAI Cup during this period. He then signed for Peterborough before joining Aberdeen in time for the start of the 2018/19 season.
His contract was cancelled during the week allowing Forrester to return home. He had been linked with a move to Dundalk but opted instead for more familiar surrounding much to the delight of the Supersaints faithful.
Dundalk have also bolstered their ranks. They brought in midfielder Jordan Flores from Wigan Athletic. Flores signs on a two-year deal and came through the youth ranks with the Latics. He has previously had loan spells with Blackpool, Chesterfield, Fylde and most recently Ostersunds in Sweden.
After finishing bottom of the season last year Athlone Town look to be in much better shape ahead of the new First Division campaign. They strengthened their squad further by bringing in the experienced midfielder Darren Meenan who had been with Midlands rivals Longford Town last season. Meenan was one of the key players for Dundalk when they qualified for the group stages of the Europa League in 2014. He also claimed league and cup medals during his time in Oriel Park.
There were two departures from First Division sides during the week. Limerick midfielder Barry Maguire has swopped Shannonside for Singapore as he has signed for Premier League side Geylang International. William Hondermarck has signed for Championship side Norwich City from Drogheda United. The highly rated 18-year-old midfielder broke into the Drogheda first team in the second half of last season.
In keeping with the offseason trend yet another player has left Derry City to sign for a club in Scotland. This time it was the turn of defender Kevin McHattie who follows in the footsteps of Nicky Low and Alistair Roy before him. He has signed during the summer from Raith Rovers but has opted to return to the Scottish Championship, signing for Inverness Caledonian Thistle.