The new League of Ireland season is fast approaching but Daryl Horgan will be rocking an old look when the campaign gets underway in just over four weeks.

Horgan wore the number 15 shirt when he returned to the club last summer but Daniel Kelly’s departure, coupled with a gentle reminder from kitman Noel Walsh, means that the former Republic of Ireland star will once again don the number seven shirt that he made famous at Oriel Park from 2014 to the end of 2016.

“When I came back, the number never really crossed my mind, to be honest,” he said. “I had it in the back of my head over the winter and I forgot about it!

“Noel asked me what number I wanted so I said I’d take seven. I had some great memories in that number so hopefully, it also brings back some good times.”

Horgan had the ‘new’ number on his back for Dundalk’s first outing of the year last Friday when Stephen O’Donnell’s men drew 1-1 with Shelbourne in a friendly with Shelbourne at the AUL.

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The 31-year-old was one of several players who came on at the interval with teenager Scott Brady wiping out Keith Ward’s first-half opener with a beautiful header from a Horgan corner.

“It was a good performance,” said Daryl. “The pitch wasn’t the best but everyone did really well and I thought it was a very polished performance for pre-season and it was a tremendous header by Scott, a proper little glancer!”

Thursday’s friendly against Longford Town at Oriel Park is followed by Sunday’s Leinster Senior Cup Group A tie with Malahide United at Gannon Park and Horgan said that playing the competition in pre-season was ‘a great idea’.

“You can run all you want in pre-season but there’s nothing like playing games. The friendly against Longford will be a good game and then we’re into competitive football against Malahide.

“I think it’s a great idea to have the Leinster Senior Cup in pre-season. It suits everyone to have that and further games against Drogheda United and Bohs to help us build up to the start of the league in February.

“We’re all looking forward to that now,” he added. “We have a few new faces and a few new staff members in so there’s a fresh feel to the place.

“There is a real emphasis on positivity, training has been excellent and it feels like the place is ready to take off again.”