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Sheppard ends Dundalk speculation as he commits to Cork City for two more years

‘I can’t wait for next season, as we go out to try and defend our double.’

CORK CITY FC have announced that Karl Sheppard has signed a new two-year contract to keep him on Leeside.

Recent speculation linking him with a move to Dundalk intensified in the days leading up to Sunday’s FAI Cup final with a report from Dundalk Sport claiming he had agreed a move to Oriel Park next season.

City manager John Caulfield refused to be draw on the links as his eyes were firmly on their Aviva Stadium meeting with the Lilywhites, while Stephen Kenny didn’t deny his interest during their respective media days.

But the 2017 double champions are set to keep the services of the 26-year-old.

“I am delighted,” he told earlier.

“I have had a great three years here so far, and to add another two to that is brilliant. I can’t wait for next season, as we go out to try and defend our double.

“It has been the best season I have been involved in so far, it was a special, special year. The supporters have been unbelievable; the messages of support I have been getting shows what type of people they are.”

Karl Sheppard celebrates winning The SSE Airtricity League Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

He also touched on the recent speculation, and noted that he’s happy to leave that all behind him.

“Last week was a difficult week, but that is in the past now and I am delighted to commit to the club for the next two years,” he continued.

“Next season, we need to try and go out and win the league again, try and win the FAI Cup again and we have the Champions League to look forward to. We are going into everything wanting to win.”

Having joined the club from Shamrock Rovers, Sheppard has spent the past three years with the newly-crowned double champions. He contributed nine league goals to City’s victorious campaign.

He assisted Achille Campion’s 111th minute equaliser on Sunday, before dispatching his penalty as Cork won the shoot-out.

Caulfield added of the new deal: ”Shep has been a phenomenal player for us.

“He played a huge role for us last Sunday and was instrumental in the cup win. I am absolutely thrilled to have him here, we want to keep all of our players. They have won a double, we know how hard it is and we need to be challenging again next year.

“I never doubted Shep; his professionalism is second to none. He gave the performance I expected of him on Sunday and he left everything on the pitch, which our supporters could see.

“I feel he is in his prime, like a lot of the players we have already signed for next year, and I think he will get better and better over the next two years.”

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