Dundalk manager Stephen Kenny has revealed that three of his squad have turned down better offers from elsewhere to stay at Dundalk next season.
The trio - Richie Towell, Patrick Hoban and Dane Massey - are part of a group of 10 players who have already penned new deals for 2014.
And Kenny believes that continuity is essential if Dundalk are to maintain their push for honours in the future.
“Dundalk has always had a large turnover of players. Every year it seemed like it was a new group”, he said.
“I can’t say that I was very confident that the 10 of them would all stay because you can never be sure but I can tell you categorically that at least three of them have turned down considerably better offers from the so called bigger clubs to stay here.
“They are enjoying their football and they feel that moving sideways is not the best thing to do.
“If they want to ale that big move to the Championship in England or somewhere then they are better off here, enjoying playing their football.
“They deserve huge credit. Players like Richie Towell, Patrick Hoban and Dane Massey are all sought after by other clubs and they wanted to stay here.”
The Dundalk players certainly looked like they were enjoying their football on Friday night when they demolished Cork City 4-0 in their final league game of the season.
“It was an outstanding team display”, said Kenny. “4-0 didn’t flatter us and we could have won by more. We scored the more difficult of the chances and missed the easier ones.”
Commenting on Towell and Hoban’s strikes, Kenny said: “Richie Towell’s goal was an outrageous strike. No goalkeeper would have saved it. It was fantastic. Richie just seems to be getting better and better.
“Patrick Hoban had no right to even attempt an overhead kick from that angle. It was incredible. John Dillon’s goal was a great strike too.”
Despite the win, Dundalk still need a victory against Bray Wanderers in their final game of the season at the Carlisle Grounds on Friday night to secure second place.
“It has been a real collective effort this season and I’m proud of every single one of the players but we need to finish it strongly”, said Kenny.
“Bray need a win to get out of the play-off so we have to get a result there. Sligo have a better goal difference than us so we need to win.”