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Albanian keeper completes Dundalk transfer while McNulty pens new Cork City deal

It’s been another busy day of transfer action in the League of Ireland.

Dundalk have signed Alessio Abibi.
Dundalk have signed Alessio Abibi.

DUNDALK HAVE COMPLETED the signing of Albanian goalkeeper Alessio Abibi while Mark McNulty has penned a new deal with Cork City.

The 24-year-old Abibi links up with the Lilywhites following a short spell in Albania with KS Kastrioti at the end of last year.

Born in Umbertide, a town in the Italian province of Perugia, Abibi started his career with Pescara and had loan spells at Perugia and Gavorrano as a teenager.

He went onto make his senior debut for Gavorrano as a 17-year-old in a Serie D game against Triestina and was rewarded with international caps at underage level for Albania.

Abibi also spent nine months in Spain with Segunda Division B side Eldense in 2017 before moving to KF Tirana in Albania.

He spent two seasons in the Albanian capital, helping the club earn promotion to the top flight during that spell while also collecting Albanian Cup and Super Cup winners’ medals.

He subsequently returned to Italy in August 2019 where he had stints at Serie C clubs Avellino and Cavese.

“Alessio was one of the goalkeepers that I studied and scouted and of them all, he was the one with the best characteristics of how we want to play,” said Dundalk head coach Filippo Giovagnoli about the club’s new signing. 

“He is big, really good in the air, strong on defensive set-pieces, brave and good on the ball in the build-up. He is also young, only 24, and is a player that we can develop. He has a brilliant future ahead of him.”

Meanwhile, Cork City veteran McNulty is staying put Leeside, as the club announces three other signings ahead of the 2021 campaign. 

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McNulty will once again operate as the club’s goalkeeping coach, while also being signed as a player.

“I am thrilled to be continuing with Cork City,” he said. “I have been at the club for many years now, and I want to be here for a long time to come. Once Colin [Healy] was confirmed as manager, there was only one place I wanted to be, and I am very pleased that we got everything sorted so quickly.

“It is a young squad, but there are some good players there, and I am really looking forward to working with them and hopefully my experience will help some of the younger boys along.”

Uniss Kargbo, Paul Hunt and Cory Galvin have also signed deals with Cork City.

Kargbo broke into the City team in second half of last season, having come through the club’s academy. The former Ringmahon Rangers schoolboy has now been rewarded with his first professional contract at the club.

Goalkeeper Hunt spent five seasons with Cobh Ramblers, before spending a short while with Munster Senior League outfit Leeside.

Galvin spent last season with his hometown club, having previously represented following spells with Bray Wanderers and Waterford.

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