John Mountney is aiming ‘to make up for lost time’ after signing a new contract with the Lilywhites.

The Boy from Bohola rejoined Dundalk from St Patrick’s Athletic at the end of 2021 but his second stint at Oriel Park has been seriously disrupted by two serious knee injuries.

After recovering from an ACL that he picked up playing for Pat’s at Oriel Park in August 2021, Mountney featured in 13 games at the back end of the 2022 season but the 30-year-old sustained an ACL injury to the opposite knee in Dundalk’s first game of 2023 against Shelbourne in a friendly at the AUL.

That meant he played no part at all last year but after getting the all clear to start training again before Christmas, the five-time league winner returned to action, ironically at the AUL, in Dundalk’s 1-1 draw against Shels recently and he is hoping that his 12th season at Oriel Park will be one to remember.

“I didn’t want a big announcement about the contract,” he said. “After two injuries, I’d rather just let my actions speak and get back on the pitch, start enjoying football and help the lads and the team again.

“It’s been a tough couple of years, especially last season but I’m feeling fit, healthy and strong and I’m raring to get going.

“I played 45 minutes against Shelbourne and it’s about managing my load at the minute so in a couple of weeks I’m aiming to be 100% ready for when the season starts.

“Any player hopes to hit their peak when they get in and around the 28 or 29 mark. I was stalled with injuries but I’ve challenged myself mentally and physically to come back and make up for lost time.”

“John’s obviously had a really tough couple of years but he has come back looking really fit and strong,” said Dundalk FC head coach Stephen O’Donnell.

“I’ve spoken lots of times about his influence around the place but we shouldn’t forget his quality as a player and it’s up to us now to make sure we can make him available for as many games as possible going forward.”