DUNDALK midfielder Richie Towell has received rave reviews for his performances this season, the latest coming in Dundalk’s 2-0 win over Cork City on Friday night.
Week by week, the former Celtic and Hibernian player seems to be enhancing his reputation as one of the Airtricity League’s finest midfielders, prompting many to speculate about a move back to the UK.
However Towell - who endured a frustrating season in Scotland with Hibs in 2012 - insisted that he is quite content where he is at the moment and that he was in no rush to have another crack at the professional game – just yet.
“Maybe long term that’s what I want to do”, said the 21-year-old. “At the minute I’m really enjoying my football and I’m not thinking about that. I think you can get hung up thinking ‘I want to go back over, I want to go back over’ constantly.
“I’m still only 21”, he added. “We’ve seen great success stories from lads in recent years like James McClean, Keith Fahey, Kevin Doyle and Shane Long.
“You do think to yourself that could be you. Maybe at the end of the season if I keep playing well then it can be me but I want to just keep playing well for Dundalk.”
Of course, it can only help that Towell is recognised as an integral part of Stephen Kenny’s Dundalk team.
“Stephen is trying to build things around me and is trying to get me on the ball as much as possible and I’m really happy to be playing”, said Towell.
“The kind of players we have in our team is what persuaded me to come here”, he added. “Teams like Shamrock Rovers and Derry City were interested but I saw the kind of players that Stephen was bringing in; they all want to play football.
“I don’t think people gave us a sniff but we knew how good we were”, he continued. “We just needed to show it on the pitch. We’re only a new team and if we can stay together and keep injury free we can go a long way.”
The Dubliner was instrumental in Dundalk’s 2-0 win over Cork City on Friday night and he was unlucky to see a goal ruled out in the first-half for offside. TV replays suggest Towell was onside in the build up to the goal.
“We were knocking on the door for the whole game, creating chances and obviously we had my goal ruled out for offside in the first-half. That’s football, you get some and you don’t get some”, he said.
“The message at half-time was to keep playing the same. Stephen (Kenny) told us we can’t let it drop and to keep expressing ourselves and to play from the back and the goal would come.”
When Dundalk’s goal did finaly, it arrived in style from John Mountney and thanks to a move perfected on the training ground.
“We’ve been working on the little crossover in training and it paid off in the end”, revealed Towell.
“John has taken his chance”, he added. John Dillon missed out through suspension today and he has taken the opportunity. He played really well apart from scoring the goal. It will be hard for others to get into the team. I think the manager would prefer to have those sort of headaches.”
The game was put to bed in the 90th minute when substitute Patrick Hoban out jumped the Cork City defence to head home number two.
“We’ve had nervy endings to some of the games so it was nice to get that bit of a cushion.”, said Towell.
“I’m delighted for Pat. He started the first couple of games and then didn’t really get a sniff because Kurtis, Vinny and Tiarnan have been doing well. He has been training brilliantly and it is nice to see him get that goal.”