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Preston confirm the capture of Andy Boyle and Daryl Horgan from Dundalk

The pair have each signed two-and-a-half-year contracts with the English Championship outfit.

Andy Boyle and Daryl Horgan Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

DUNDALK DUO ANDY Boyle and Daryl Horgan have completed their moves to Preston North End, the English Championship club have confirmed this morning.

The pair, who were called up to the Republic of Ireland squad for last month’s World Cup qualifier against Austria, have each penned two-and-a-half-year deals which will keep them at Deepdale until the summer of 2019.

Boyle and Horgan make their first moves to England having played key roles in a hugely successful spell for Dundalk, which has seen the Lilywhites win three consecutive SSE Airtricity League Premier Division titles, an FAI Cup and an EA Sports Cup.

Both players were also central to Dundalk’s memorable 2016 European campaign. Stephen Kenny’s side overcame FH Hafnarfjordur and BATE Borisov in the Champions League qualifiers, before drawing with AZ Alkmaar in the Netherlands and defeating Maccabi Tel-Aviv in Tallaght in the Europa League group stages.

“First and foremost we have signed two players who have attracted a lot of interest from a lot of clubs over the past few weeks and months and we have had to work hard to get them, which shows our intent as a football club,” said Preston manager Simon Grayson.

“Both players have had great seasons in their league and in Europe, leading to their call ups for the Irish squad. They are young, hungry and looking to improve and will be excellent acquisitions for us.

“I spoke to Steve Guppy [Republic of Ireland coach] about both of them, who was very positive and we have watched them a number of times and they have been excellent at club level and handled the Europa League games very well.

“Daryl is a forward-thinking player with a lot of goals. He makes things happen, has got a bit of pace about him, has a good delivery in him and he has scored a lot of goals this season.

“Andy is a good centre-half, who can also handle the ball and both have shown their determination to join us by coming over a couple of times to meet us and got things done very quickly.

“They both have the desire to keep improving and joining a Championship club is the next progression for them – we have always tried to improve and we look forward to working with them.”

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A 25-year-old Dubliner, Boyle made over 150 appearances at the heart of the Dundalk defence after moving to Oriel Park from Shelbourne in 2013, having also previously played for UCD.

“I can’t wait to get started,” Boyle said. “Once I heard Preston were interested in me and I got over and had a look around it was the only place I wanted to come to. I knew of the history of the club and I am now really looking forward to getting going.

Andy Boyle and Daryl Horgan Source: Mikhail Kireev/INPHO

“We have had a great run with Dundalk in Europe and won the league and then I got the international call-up, so it has been a great year and this has capped it off.”

Horgan, a 24-year-old winger from Galway, scored 27 times in 132 Dundalk appearances. He joined the Louth outfit from Cork City for the beginning of the 2014 season. Horgan has also played for Salthill Devon and Sligo Rovers.

He said: “I’m delighted to be here. I’m absolutely thrilled to get the deal over the line and now I’m really looking forward to getting into training and hopefully into the team.

“It’s a massive club with a great history. It is a good team who like to try and play football, which was key for me. I met the manager and I was impressed by everything that he had to say, so that all helped massively. It just all seemed to fit and hopefully I can fit in here.”

The arrival of Boyle and Horgan at Preston will increase an already sizeable Irish presence at the Championship’s 12th-placed club. They’ll join Greg Cunningham, Alan Browne, Eoin Doyle and Aiden McGeady at the Lancashire outfit.

Both players join Preston on free transfers as their Dundalk contracts expired at the end of the 2016 season, which concluded for Dundalk with Thursday night’s away defeat to Maccabi Tel-Aviv. They’ll be eligible to play for Preston from 1 January, pending international clearance.

– First published 11.16

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