Dundalk head coach Vinny Perth says the club will do everything they can to facilitate a move for out of favour centre-back, Stephen Folan when the transfer window opens on July 1st.
The 27-year-old has not started a league game since May 11th last year and the arrival of Andy Boyle has seen him fall further down the pecking order at Oriel Park.
Big-spending Larne, who won promotion to the Danske Bank Premiership last season, have made an approach for the former Galway United star while Derry City and Sligo Rovers are also known admirers.
“The window isn’t open so Stephen can’t go anywhere just yet,” said Perth. “He trained really well over the past week in Spain and he actually came in on Monday morning with Georgie Kelly and Jordan Flores to do a bit of gym work. That’s the kind of dedication that Stephen has.
“He’s somebody we hold in high regard and is one of the most popular people in the group. The challenge for him is playing. It’s probably a year or so since his last league game so he does need football. It’s important for him, his career and his development that he starts playing football so we will try and help him as best we can.”
Boyle will fight it out with Sean Hoare, Daniel Cleary and Brian Gartland for a place in the Dundalk team and although some outsiders may see four central defenders as an expensive luxury, Perth said it was important to have cover in every department.
Last year’s Europa League exit against Larnaca sticks in his mind, a night that saw the Lilywhites finish the game with only one recognised central defender, Brian Gartland, in the back four.
“The injuries we’ve had this season have all, more or less, been in the same position and I don’t think we’d be in the position we’re currently in if we didn’t have the squad that we do. In fact, I think we’d be struggling in the league,” he said.
“People might look now and say we’re overloaded with central defenders but we’re only one or two injuries away from having to play Dane Massey or Chris Shields in there. That’s the way the modern game is now.”
Perth hasn’t ruled any further additions out and he said the club are looking to send one or two of their young stars out on loan to gain some first-team experience.
“We will maybe look at a loan for one or two of our younger players. We want to bring players through at the club and Dylan Hand and Lido Lotefa are two that we hold in high regard who need games. We also have high hopes for Mark Hanratty coming through the U19s so we need to free up a bit of space for those lads to progress.”
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