Dundalk FC is delighted to announce that Brian Gartland has signed a new contract which will take the centre-back into his 10th season with the club.
After arriving from Portadown in the summer of 2013, the 35-year-old has gone on to collect 16 winners medals with the Lilywhites as well as featuring in both of the club’s Europa League group stage campaigns in 2016 and 2020.
His 2021 campaign lasted just six minutes after he sustained a knee injury against Shamrock Rovers in April but with his future now secure, ‘Garts’ said he was looking forward to linking up with head coach Stephen O’Donnell again and pulling on a white shirt in front of the Lilywhites faithful.
“I’m delighted to be staying here and going into my 10th season at the club. There is nowhere else I wanted to be,” he told dundalkfc.com.
“Last year was one of the toughest years of my life, on and off the pitch. Mentally, it was so hard seeing where the club was going and because I had the injury, I felt helpless and couldn’t do anything about it.
“Thankfully, my recovery is going very well and with the new owners and management team, there is a real buzz around the club again.
“I feel that I have a lot to offer and I can’t wait to get back out in front of the crowd at Oriel Park. It’s been that long since I played in front of them and there were times last year when I was wondering if I’d ever get the chance to do that again.”
As someone who lives in town, Gartland is well placed to gauge the mood amongst Dundalk supporters and he fully understands the wave of optimism around the club going into 2022.
“Like everyone else, I’m so excited about where the club is going,” he said. “It feels that a reboot is taking place and I’m really looking forward to the challenge of that and being part of the journey.
“I have massive respect for Stevie (O’Donnell). He was my captain when I played alongside him and I love his ideas and philosophy on the game and I’m really looking forward to working with him, Padge Cregg and Dave Mackey.
“It’s a new era for the club and, knowing Stevie, and from speaking to the new owners, the environment will be right to help us rebuild, consolidate and get this club back to where it was and where it should be.”
“I’m delighted to have Brian back on board,” said Dundalk FC head coach Stephen O’Donnell. “His season was curtailed through injury last year but he is looking fresh and hungry and he is making great progress with his recovery.
“On the pitch, he has a lot to give in terms of his quality and leadership and it will be huge for the squad, in particular the younger players, to have someone with his experience and presence around.
“He has been one of the most successful players in the league in recent times and I think it was a big thing to get him sorted and tied down and we can’t wait to get working with him on a daily basis now.”