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Stephen McDonnell

Vice Role A “Nice Surprise” for McDonnell

Dundalk FC central midfielder Stephen McDonnell says he was “very shocked” but that it was a “nice surprise” when he was told that he was to be the club’s new vice-captain.

The former Quay Celtic youngster, who shortly turns 20, was touted as a potential captain in the early stages of manager Seán McCaffrey’s squad-building process.

However, he says the role never entered his mind, and that it is a “great honour” to be chosen as vice-captain to fellow midfielder Chris Shields, who he feels is “an excellent choice” as skipper.

The announcement was made last Thursday evening at the club’s 2012 Season Launch, and the local star says he only learned of the news shortly before the event.

“I’m buzzing; it’s a great honour to be vice-captain of my hometown club,” McDonnell told dundalkfc.com.

“I was very shocked when Seán told me. He only said it to me a few minutes before it was announced.

“I’m very happy.

“Not for one minute was it in my head about getting a sniff of being vice-captain, never mind captain.

“I wasn’t expecting it, but it was a nice surprise.”

McDonnell knew about Shields being handed the armband a week earlier but says he thought that Liam Burns, who captained the club in 2010, would be No2.

“As Seán says, Liam is a leader as it is,” Stephen said.

“He has been there and done it all, and Seán is obviously trying to mature a few more players in the squad. It’s a good way of thinking.

“Chris is excellent in the dressing room and he has great leadership on the pitch. He gives everything.

“He’s a great lad. He’s a great talker; he is only in the league three seasons but you can see he’s a mature lad, and I think he’s an excellent choice as captain.”

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