Dundalk FC defender Liam Burns has stated that he “never wanted to leave”, after completing his move back to the club on Thursday evening.
The 33-year-old centre-half arrived at Oriel Park in 2009 and spent two seasons, working under firstly Seán Connor and then Ian Foster, before last year making a return to Bohemians, where he won a League & Cup double in 2008.
The Belfast native will now spend a third season with the Lilywhites, after manager Seán McCaffrey made him his tenth signing, as the squad begins to take shape.
And speaking after penning a one-year deal, Burns admitted that it was “good to be back”.
“I’m delighted to be back,” he told dundalkfc.com.
“When I got talking to Seán and I knew that Dundalk were interested, it didn’t take a lot for me to make up my mind.
“It’s good to be back and to see familiar faces around the ground. I’m just delighted to get back in training with the lads.
“The opportunity came up about a week or ten days ago. I arranged a meeting with Seán, and he told me what players he’s looking to bring in and what players he has here, and his ambitions for the future.
“I’ve always kept Dundalk close to me. I really enjoyed my two years here, and, as I say, it didn’t take long for me to make up my mind.
“I enjoyed my time at Bohs and there was an opportunity to stay on there, but I never wanted to leave Dundalk.
“But things happen in football and sometimes you have just got to move on.
“I’m delighted to come back.”
But what are Burnsy’s thoughts on the old adage that ‘you should never go back’?
“I don’t agree with that,” he said, “because I went back to Bohs last year, I played a lot of games and I really enjoyed it.
“In football, you never know what is around the corner. This opportunity came up and I’m very happy to take it.”
Burnsy also spoke to DFCTV after completing his return to ‘The Home of Football’
The experienced defender missed three months of the 2010 season with a stomach injury, but he insists that he is fighting fit, having started all bar four of Bohs’ league games last term.
“If you look over my career I think that spell was the longest I was ever out,” he said.
“You saw last year that I only missed four games; two through injury and two through suspension. I had a decent season.
“I’m really looking forward to getting started here and getting the league campaign underway.”
Burns played alongside a number of young players at Dalymount Park last year, and will be part of an even younger squad this time around.
“I’m at an age now, I’ve played in the league a long time, I’ve been in England, and I’ve got a lot of experience,” Liam said.
“Hopefully, if the young players are willing to learn and looking to do well, they’ll learn one or two things from me.
“There are a lot of youngsters here but it’s not just at Dundalk. I think if you look around the league, the squads are very young. It’s not just us.”
Burns trained with Dundalk on Thursday evening before inking his contract, and he concluded by speaking about his first night back at the club.
“I enjoyed it,” he said. “When you have been off for a few months over Christmas and the New Year, you just want to get back into it.
“I really enjoyed the training session. There are a lot of good, young players here. If they can just get some belief into themselves, maybe we can go far.
“I’m looking forward to playing football, and getting back into it. Hopefully, we can start off well and carry it on from there.”
Burns also confirmed that no opportunity to join Zimbabwean club CAPS United arose.
Photographs thanks to David Caldwell.