Dundalk FC manager Seán McCaffrey hailed Liam Burns as a “fantastic signing”, after the former club captain made his return following a one-season absence, with the boss stating that the central defender will be “invaluable” to his side.
The 33-year-old, a double winner with Bohemians, signed on Thursday evening after agreeing a one-year deal at Oriel Park.
“Liam Burns is a fantastic signing,” McCaffrey told dundalkfc.com.
“For a start, he’s a good player. He’s a very experienced, successful player. He’s a good leader on the pitch, and those leadership and organisation abilities will be invaluable to us when we have so many young players.
“I’m delighted to get him.
“He’s a smashing fella. He always impressed me as a player with his ability on the pitch. But having met with him and spoken with other people that have worked with him, I think we’ve got a great signing.”
Burns spent 2009 and 2010 with the Lilywhites, achieving fifth and sixth-placed finishes during his stay.
The Belfast-born defender made 62 appearances and scored three goals in that time, playing under Seán Connor and Ian Foster.
Burns made the joint-highest number of appearances for Dundalk during his first season, lining out 34 times, from 40 games in all competitions. He contributed two goals, away to Sligo Rovers, in April, and Shamrock Rovers, in August.
In February 2010, after penning a fresh deal, he was announced as club captain.
That was followed by 16 starts in the first 17 games, when he was rested for a League Cup tie, before a stomach injury sidelined him between late May and mid-August, as he missed 16 games in a row.
That meant he sat out the club’s UEFA Europa League ties against Grevenmacher and Levski Sofia.
After his return, he played ten of the final 11 games, where the side came back to form with five wins in seven outings.
Burns’ only goal that season came at home to Bray Wanderers in April.
The experienced defender won a League & Cup double with Bohs in 2008, when the Gypsies accumulated a record 85 points, and a First Division title with Sligo Rovers in 2005.
He returned to Dalymount Park for last season and started 32 of the 36 league games, as Bohs finished fifth, just three points off a European place.
In total, he has started 87 of the last 108 games in the Premier Division.
Burns became McCaffrey’s tenth signing, after he already snapped up Mark Griffin, Stephen McDonnell, Nathan Murphy, Eoghan Osborne, Derek Foran, Chris Shields, John Mountney, Shane O’Neill and Gary Shanahan.