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Dublin: 5 °C Sunday 29 March, 2020

McMillan the man out to fill the boots of 20-goal Hoban at Dundalk

The striker is relishing the chance to prove himself with a regular run in the Lilywhites team — starting at home to Longford Town tonight.

McMillan scored 15 goals in all competitions last season.
McMillan scored 15 goals in all competitions last season.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

REPLACING THE LEAGUE’S joint-top goalscorer is never going to be easy, but given the opportunities to shine, David McMillan believes he can be a worthy successor to Pat Hoban.

Galway-born striker Hoban was pivotal in helping Dundalk clinch a first title since 1995  – netting 20 times in the Premier Division — and earned a move to England with League Two side Oxford United in November.

Having joined from Sligo Rovers in December 2013, former UCD man McMillan often found himself named on the bench last season but nonetheless proved his worth with 15 goals in all competitions (7 in the league).

Now the 26-year-old is eager to play more of a starring role as Stephen Kenny’s men set out to record back-to-back league successes.

“Pat played a lot of games last year but I still scored 15 goals,” McMillan told The42.

“Despite not starting many league matches, I was getting a good return of goals but hopefully this season will be different.

Pat has left for Oxford on the back of a great season and I’m hoping there will be more opportunities for me to get games and build on what was a pretty good first year for me.

“I think the team scored over 100 goals in all competitions last year and we are an attacking team who create a lot of chances. I’ve got to get that position and try and hold onto it because there will be strong competition.

“That’s my first job. If I can do that, it will be because I’m scoring goals so I’m hopeful I can add to what I got last year and be at the forefront of everything that is good for us going forward. I haven’t set too many targets but if I’m doing my job and I’m playing well the lads will be creating chances for me and there should be goals there.”

Hoban aside, the Lilywhites have kept the bulk of their squad together and possess an variety of options. Bray’s Jake Kelly and Shamrock Rovers midfielder Ronan Finn have been added to the group and McMillan can already see what the latter has to offer.

“Ronan has been a brilliant edition. He has been scoring goals in pre-season and it’s another attacking threat to what we have already,” he added.

Richie Towell sticking around is also a bit bonus because a lot of people expected him to leave. I think he is very happy at the club, he has done well and hopefully he will do the same this year. I’m sure the wide players will look to add goals.

“Daryl Horgan got a great one against St Pat’s last week and he is in good form so there is goals from all positions and even the bench.”

First up is the visit of newly-promoted Longford Town to Oriel Park tonight. Tony Cousins’ men came up from the First Division as champions and have plenty of experience in their ranks.

“They have a lot of players who have won the Premier Division with the likes of Stephen Rice, Pat Flynn, Pat Sullivan and Conor Powell. They have all played at big clubs so it’s going to be a very tough first game.”

– First published 08.20

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About the author:

Ben Blake

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