Niclas Vemmelund wheels away in celebration after scoring Dundalk’s goal in the FAI Cup final. PICTURE: BEN MCSHANE

DFC | Vemmelund leaving the door open for a return to Dundalk FC?

Danish defender says he has no contract offers on the table

Niclas Vemmelund has not ruled out a return to Dundalk next season, saying that he has no offers from any other club on the table.

Speaking in the build up to the FAI Cup final, Vemmelund said that his mind was made up and that Sunday’s game at the Aviva Stadium would be his last in a Lilywhites shirt.

He reiterated that on a couple of occasions afterwards, saying that he ‘would miss Ireland’ but he also refused to rule out the possibility of Stephen Kenny convincing him to stay put.

“I don’t know,” he said. “Nothing has been lined up and it’s still early to say. I will go home and reset. I will think about what I have to do and look at the offers that I get and see what interests me.”

It looked like Vemmelund might sign off as a hero when he powered a header past Mark McNulty in the fifth minute of extra time but it wasn’t to be, Cork City equalising through Achille Campion before winning a penalty shootout.

The Dundalk players sample the pre-match atmosphere. PICTURE: BEN MCSHANE

“I don’t think they deserved to win the game,” said the 25-year-old. “I thought we were very unlucky. We played well and kept the ball but it’s just not our season.

“In the last couple of minutes Cork pressed us higher, started playing balls up and getting players up. That’s how they play.

“I don’t like it but that’s how they do it. Its quite simple but it has worked for them this season so congratulations to them.”

Vemmelund has enjoyed two successful years in the League of Ireland, starring at Derry City in 2016 and becoming a terrace favourite at Dundalk this season.

Asked for his thoughts on the league as a whole, the Dane said it is going in the right direction but needs an injection of cash to improve facilities and player contracts.

“I think it’s going forward,” he said. “A couple of the clubs need to invest a little bit more. That’s not only Dundalk but every team here.

The Dundalk players warming up before Sunday’s FAI Cup final. PICTURE: BEN MCSHANE

“It’s a bit old school in places, facilities and stadiums. Another problem is that the best players go after a season or two and if the clubs want to keep them they have to build on and get investment in.

“The lads around the club and the whole squad have been brilliant for me,” he added. “Its always nice to play for what I think is the best team here.

“We play once football and I like that. For me it has been really nice, especially since after the break, and I feel I am getting better and better. I feel the team has helped me with the way we played and we helped each other.

“It’s a heartbreaking way to lose it,” he sighed. “All of the players are quite down at the moment.”

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