We look at some options for Dundalk as they prepare to replace Horgan and Boyle

The pair are headed for Preston North End in January

Dundalk, Daryl Horgan,

Dundalk's Daryl Horgan celebrates scoring the second goal of the game with a free kick ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Dundalk's success in Europe has proved a most welcome change from the usual fortunes of Irish sides on the continent.

However the downside of this success is the likely departure of some of their key players. Earlier today the club confirmed that Daryl Horgan and Andy Boyle are heading to Preston North End in January.

Richie Towell headed for Brighton at the same time last year but the club were able to cope with his departure. If they are to do the same next season, we look at a few players who might be of interest to them:

1. Brandon Miele (Shamrock Rovers)

The former Cherry Orchard, Newcastle United and Bluebell United midfielder has flourished since returning to League of Ireland football.

Miele is a tidy midfielder who can play out wide or behind the striker. He scored 9 goals last season (one less than Horgan) and is also a solid set-piece taker.

Miele is only 22 years of age and would be a shrewd long-term investment.

Shamrock Rovers' Brandon Miele shooting on goal
Image: ©INPHO/Tommy Dickson


2.  Conan Byrne (St. Patrick's Athletic)

Byrne had a productive season scoring eleven league goals despite playing in a Pat's team which struggled for form and consistency all season.

He scored in the final of the League Cup to help the Inchicore club retain their title when he was also awarded the man of the match accolade.  

St. Patricks' Conan Byrne celebrates scoring his sides second goal
Image: ©INPHO/Tommy Dickson

3. Alan Bennett (Cork City)

Bennett has been a main-stay of John Caulfied's side and was pivotal in helping his team keep a clean sheet in the FAI Cup final against Dundalk.

Despite a well-travelled career which has seen him play for Reading, Southampton, Brentford and Wycombe amongst others, he still has plenty to offer the League of Ireland despite being 35 years old. 

The loss of Boyle will be a huge blow for Dundalk and the calming influence of a veteran such as Bennett could prove pivotal as they make the transition.

Cork's Alan Bennett celebrates with The FAI Cup
Image: ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

4. Niclas Vemmelund (Derry City)

Despite being primarily a right-back, the big Dane is comfortable across the back four and can use both feet when called upon.

At 6'1 he offers a presence at the back and played his part for Derry City thsi year as they only conceded 29 goals all season in the league.

At 24 years of age, he would offer a solid investment and Stephen Kenny could use his him as a utility player if necessary. 

Bohemian's Kurtis Byrne and Derry's Niclas Vemmelund
Image: ©INPHO/Presseye/Lorcan Doherty