He has won five SSE Airtricity Men’s Premier Division titles, picked up numerous cup winners medals and played in a host of European games, but John Mountney says that being installed as the club captain of Dundalk is one of the biggest honours of his career.

The 30-year-old, who recently signed a new contract that will take him into his 12th season at Oriel Park, will lead the Lilywhites in 2024 with Andy Boyle installed as vice-captain.

Mountney and the rest of the Dundalk players were informed of head coach Stephen O’Donnell’s decision over the last few days and he said it was nice hearing his name being called!

“The gaffer had a meeting with the group and said that the staff had a conversation about the captaincy and it was a proud moment when he announced that I’d be club captain and Andy Boyle would be vice.

“It’s a massive honour for me. I have been here for 12 seasons and I have a massive connection with the club and the town. It’s not something I’ll take lightly. I’ll put everything I can into it and we all will as a team.”

Head coach Stephen O’Donnell and John Mountney at the launch of the SSE Airtricity League of Ireland 2024 season held at Vicar Street in Dublin. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Mountney has played under some hugely successful captains during his long spell at Oriel Park and he said he was hoping to follow in their footsteps.

“I played alongside some big characters here and I know how things should be run,” he said. “All of the small details add up to success and that’s a massive part of being successful.

“It’s my job, and the job of the experienced lads here, to drive standards and make sure that the players, especially the new lads, are coming into a good environment. They need to feel relaxed but they also need to know that standards are high and need to be met every day.”

Dundalk travel to Tallaght Stadium to face Shamrock Rovers on the opening night of the season on Friday week and Mountney said there was a real sense of positivity in the Lilywhites dressing room.

“I think it’s an exciting time. There’s a good balance and a real feeling of freshness about the place. We have experienced lads and we have young lads who look like they’re ready to step up to the plate. I think we’re in a good place and we’re all looking forward to the big kick-off now.”