LOI latest: Tommy Lonergan returns to St Pat’s, while Keith Ward signs new Dundalk deal

St Patrick’s Athletic have announced the signing of Tommy Lonergan from UCD on a multi-year deal.

he 18-year-old turned down several offers from elsewhere to return to Richmond Park. He netted 12 goals in all competitions for the Students in 2022, including a crucial header which saw UCD defeat Waterford in this month’s promotion/relegation play-off.

The Ireland U-19 striker spent three years at the St Pat’s academy, played for the Saints’ U-17 and U19 sides and made his senior debut in July 2021 before signing for UCD last January.

“I’m really looking forward to being a full time footballer, it will be unbelievable to wake up every day and go into training, I’ll relish the opportunity and won’t take it granted and I’ll be giving it my all for this club,” said Lonergan.

“I’m delighted that Tommy is returning to the club. There was a lot of competition for Tommy both from within the League of Ireland and further afield, so it’s a real coup for us to get him back,” St Pat’s boss Tim Clancy added.

Dundalk’s Keith Ward has signed a new contract, keeping him with the club for the 2023 season. The attacker returned to the Lilywhites last December and made 34 appearances as Stephen O’Donnell’s side secured a third placed finish and European football.

“I think this season went well, both individually and from a team point of view, and I really enjoyed it. Coming from Bohemians, I knew it would be a big change but the chance to work with the gaffer was a challenge I really wanted and I’m looking forward to another season now,” said the 34-year-old.

“Keith had a huge impact this season, whether he started games or came off the bench. He finished the year with six goals, which was his highest ever and we are hoping for the same again next year,” added O’Donnell.

“As everyone knows, he is great around the place and his attitude in training is exemplary so when you marry everything together, you have a really good, experienced player with lots of creativity and they are not easy to find.”

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