Andy Boyle has returned to Dundalk FC two-and-a-half years since leaving for Preston North End. (Pic: Dundalk FC)
Andy Boyle has returned to Dundalk FC two-and-a-half years after departing, with the three-time league winner saying he has “a lot of affection” for the club, as he bolsters their defensive options for the second half of the season.
Boyle, now 28, was a rock during three successive Premier Division titles under Stephen Kenny between 2014 and 2016, and re-signs on a long-term deal from July 1.
His performances, particularly those in the European run in the latter season, earned him a move to English Championship club Preston North End, as well as a Republic of Ireland senior cap.
However, the Dubliner could not nail down a regular place at Deepdale, and over the last 18 months he has had loan spells at Doncaster Rovers, Dundee and Ross County.
After making his debut in February, the centre-half went on to play an important role for The Staggies as they returned to the Scottish Premiership at the first time of asking, and he had an option to remain on a permanent basis.
After signing, Boyle said: “I had a couple of options to stay in the UK, I had a couple of options here at home. I’m just really happy now to be back at a place that I have a lot of affection for – Dundalk, the people and the club.
“It’s a great place to be. You look at the facilities, they’re amazing. The club is serious in what they’re doing. I’m really happy to be a part of it.
“I’d a couple of different offers across the water. I had to weigh everything up and decide: what’s the best for me and the people around me?
“I’m glad to be here, to be home, and have such a chance to emulate the success of the past.”
Asked about what the swinging factor was, the defender added: “It’s been in the pipeline over the last month or so. I came back towards the end of May, after the last game for Ross County, and speaking to the club since then.
“The determining factor was probably when I came up and had a look around. It’s more than changed a bit - it’s a fantastic facility that gives the players every chance to go and be successful.
“Dundalk’s a place that will always have a massive place in my heart.
“To leave was tough, but football has given me a chance to come back.”