Dundalk FC is delighted to announce that Robbie Benson has signed a new contract with the club.

The three-time SSE Airtricity League winner is now in his second spell at Oriel Park after returning from St Patrick’s Athletic in December 2021.

Benson’s first season back at the club saw Dundalk finish in third place – securing a place in Europe – and the 30-year-old said that the hunger was there to do even more in 2023.

“The target is to try and build and to improve on last year,” he told dundalkfc.com. “We want to get closer to the top and we also have Europe to look forward to in the summer. This club has had a great record in Europe over the last six or seven years so we’ll be going into the summer looking to keep that going.”

Benson’s deal means that 15 members from last year’s squad are now under contract for the upcoming season and he said it was important that Dundalk had a core of players who understood the demands and expectations of playing for the club.

“I’m sure there’ll be lots of new faces here by the time the start of the season comes around but it’s up to the experienced lads who were here from last year – and before that – to raise our levels up again and not be relying on new signings to come in and have an amazing season.

“As a core of players, we’ve already had that discussion. We’ve had a year now under Stephen (O’Donnell) and the coaches here so we’re more in tune now with what they want and expect and it’s up to the players now to take action and implement what they want.”

A day after the 2022 season came to a close, Benson underwent surgery to repair the troublesome hernia injury that dogged the second half of his campaign and he said he was on course to be back for the curtain raiser against another of his old club’s, UCD, on February 17th.

“The physios are happy, the medical team are happy and I’m happy with my rate of progression so hopefully I’ll be back in for the start of the season and when I’m back fit, I’ll be back for good.”

“It’s very important to have Robbie here for another season,” said Dundalk head coach Stephen O’Donnell. “His season was badly interrupted from the summertime onwards and, to be honest, he probably wasn’t fit to play at all during the second half of the campaign.

“He battled through the pain barrier and that’s the epitome of what Robbie is all about. He made himself available even though he couldn’t train and he was very limited in what he could do but his presence alone was that important.

“It’s our job now to make sure we keep him available on the training ground and for matches. His attitude and the way he carries himself throughout the week is indispensable and once he gets into a rhythm of games, he’s one of the best midfielders in the country.”