Signing: “Hopefully I’ll Be Holding The Trophy” – Stewart
Three-in-a-row Champions Dundalk FC are pleased to announce the signing of Thomas Stewart, who hopes to be “holding the trophy” once again come the season’s end as he returns to the League of Ireland.
The 30-year-old frontman previously played here with Derry City, where he played under Stephen Kenny, and Shamrock Rovers, where he won the league title in 2010, but he has spent recent years in the United States and Canada.
Now, though, he’s back and he wants to win more silverware. He told dundalkfc.com: “I’m very excited. Obviously, I’ve been away for a few years now so it’s nice to get back. I’m very familiar with the manager, some of the players and the league, so I can’t wait to get going.
“I’ve worked well with Stephen before. He has worked with a lot of good players and he has helped a lot of players push on in their careers. He has been very successful.
“Likewise, I’ve been similar – I’ve won quite a few things over the years so I’m coming back now and that’s my aim, to continue and hopefully gel together again and win something.”
Stewart also took a keen interest in the Lilywhites’ UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League progress last year.
“I follow football non-stop so it’s just one of those things that you keep an eye out and you know a few of the lads that are playing in competitions,” he said.
“Obviously you can’t miss something of the magnitude of the Europa League or the Champions League where the lads did so well. It has been a phenomenal year for them.”
Stewart, who played with Ciarán Kilduff at Shamrock Rovers, feels he “learned a lot” in his three years between Sacramento Republic and Ottawa Fury. But he is glad to be back in familiar territory.
“I’m very pleased with what I did there but it’s a good time to be back, playing with Dundalk,” he said.
“At the end of last year I wanted to reassess because I had been away for three years and it takes its toll on your body in terms of you’re playing at altitude one week, you’re in the sun another week and then you’re travelling 4-5 hours on a flight and you’re always in an airport.
“I just wanted to come out of that. When you’re first there it’s amazing – you’re buzzing to go to these places, but then you have to take a step back and ask what’s best for Thomas Stewart at that stage. I took my time to think about it and this is the best thing for me.
“The first goal here is going to be to get into the team and do my bit for the team. Obviously I haven’t had a pre-season with Dundalk so that’s the first goal I can set, to be honest, to get up to speed with the lads, which isn’t going to take me too long.
“I want to start doing well for the team, winning games and hopefully at the end of the year I’ll be holding the trophy.”
Stewart has joined up with the squad ahead of tonight’s President’s Cup final in Cork but will not be available for selection.