Shields Pens New Deal
Dundalk FC are pleased to announce that Chris Shields has committed his future to the club
The midfielder is the club’s longest serving player alongside John Mountney, who also signed a new contract with the club last week, having joined Dundalk in 2012.
In 2012 he helped he club stave off relegation via a playoff victory against Waterford United and under manager Stephen Kenny established himself as a major player where the side finished runners up in 2013 before clinching two league titles in 2014 and 2015. With an FAI Cup final to come, the former Bray Wanderers star has won both the EA Sports Cup and President’s Cup with the club.
The Dublin native will now embark on his fifth season at the club in 2016 and will remain with the club until the end of the 2017 campaign. The midfielder has made close to 120 appearances in his four season spell to date including 30 this term which have included the two legs against BATE Borisov in the Champions League in July and played all 4 matches in the continental competition in 2014 also.
Speaking after signing a two-year deal, Shields told dundalkfc.com that he was pleased to get the deal sorted and is looking to build on the success that the team have had in the past few years, targeting progress in Europe as something which is important and how he feels that he is a local player now as he enters his fifth season at the club.
“It’s great to finally get it done. I am really happy to be signed for the next two years and to get everything sorted. I have had a great time here over the past few seasons and I want to continue that. I’m really enjoying my football now and want to keep that going.
“One thing we want to kick on is in Europe. We have been there the last 2 seasons and in the Champions League, after losing last year we feel that we have some unfinished business in the competition. We think we have something to prove and can go further than we had been. We can’t wait to get another crack at it.
“It’s a bit mad! It’s rare to be in a club this long in this league but it goes to show that it can happen and continuity is good for everyone. I have been here nearly 5 years now and that shows how much I love this football club and love being here. Even the locals see me as a local now and don’t see me as being from Dublin!”
Also speaking to dundalkfc.com his manager Stephen Kenny was full of praise for the midfielder and spoke of the improvement in Shields’ game since he came in.
“Chris has been really influential over the last 3 seasons and has made a major contribution to the team. It has been great to see his development in that time. The main reason he is number 5 is because when he re-signed he was going to play beside Andy Boyle at centre-back, that was my initial plan but he has been a mainstay in midfield over the last 3 seasons.
“His all round game has really improved over the last couple of years. Richie Towell has 23 league goals and his attacking runs leaves huge spaces in our play and Chris Shields covers that quickly, it’s incredible how quickly he covers the grass. He anticipates danger really well. He is an extremely committed competitor, his passing has really improved. He was player of the year and I actually think he’s better now. His appreciation of the game has come on a lot.”
Kenny conceded that he was ‘delighted’ to re-sign the 24 year-old who he believes has played a ‘major role’ in the title successes.
I must admit I am delighted that he has signed. There was speculation that he was going to other clubs and now he is here for two more seasons.
He has played a major role in the 2 league title wins and the cup wins so we are pleased he will be here for another couple of years. “