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Longford snap up Rovers midfielder despite contract offer from Belgium

Former Hoops and Dundalk man Darren Meenan appeared to be bound for Brussels.

Darren Meenan tangling with Moussa Dembele while playing for Shamrock Rovers in a friendly against Celtic last July.
Darren Meenan tangling with Moussa Dembele while playing for Shamrock Rovers in a friendly against Celtic last July.
Image: Bryan Keane/INPHO

LONGFORD TOWN TODAY announced a double swoop for Evan Galvin and Darren Meenan.

Galvin, a 21-year-old midfielder who has also played for Cobh Ramblers and Waterford, joins Longford from Cabinteely.

But the signing of Meenan could be particularly significant for Neale Fenn’s side in their bid to secure promotion back to the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division in 2018.

The 31-year-old versatile midfielder had seemingly been on the verge of a move to join Belgian fourth-tier club RWDM 47, based in Brussels, after being released by Shamrock Rovers.

“We’ve agreed on a contract but it’s a matter of going over, looking around the place and seeing where I’m staying,” Meenan told the Irish Mirror on Thursday.

The Dubliner added: “Financially it’s very good. I’ve two kids and a house to support. I met Irish clubs but financially it wasn’t worth it as you’d need a job to go with it.”

However, Meenan has seemingly performed an about turn with the news that he’ll resume his career in the League of Ireland.

By providing no fewer than 32 assists, Meenan was a key player for Dundalk in 2014 when they won the first of three consecutive Premier Division titles.

After four seasons at Oriel Park, he moved to Shamrock Rovers for the 2017 season but struggled to make an impact in Tallaght and didn’t feature in the final months of the campaign.

Nevertheless, a player of Meenan’s calibre and experience could prove to be a major asset in the First Division for the forthcoming season, with Longford aiming to improve on their fifth-place finish in 2017 as the league increases from eight teams to 10.

Meanwhile, after a season at Oriel Park, 31-year-old striker Thomas Stewart has left Dundalk to join Larne in Northern Ireland’s second tier.

The former Northern Ireland U21 international signed for the Lilywhites from Ottawa Fury in February. He scored three goals in 30 appearances in the 2017 season, one of which came in their victory over Shamrock Rovers in the EA Sports Cup final.

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