Dundalk head coach Stephen O’Donnell believes that Patrick Hoban’s departure from Oriel Park was in the best interest of both parties.
The club’s record goalscorer was unveiled by Derry City on Wednesday afternoon and speaking to dundalkfc.com, O’Donnell said that a parting of the ways became apparent following a meeting between the pair last October.
“We had a sit down in person for a coffee before the game with Bohemians in October and had a chat about many different things,” he said. “There was a lot of uncertainty at the time, and we talked about where the club was at, and where we felt the club was going.
“I felt it was an amicable and constructive meeting but from media reports in the days that followed, Pat came out of it and felt that it was the end of the line for him at Dundalk.
“Once a player has that in their head, it was best for both parties to start afresh and find an agreement that was fair for both.
“The prerequisite for a team trying to achieve goals and win trophies is for everyone to have an all-for-one, one for all mentality and to be striving towards the same goal.
“Pat has been an unbelievable servant to Dundalk and he is the club’s record goalscorer. The numbers are there to show the contribution he made to the club and nobody will ever take that away from him and everyone here wishes him well.”
Hoban, Daniel Kelly and John Martin, Dundalk’s three top scorers from last season, have all left Oriel Park during the off-season but O’Donnell said he was confident that his team would evolve and that the 2024 Dundalk would have a fresh approach to things.
“In terms of Daniel and John, clubs were able to take advantage of the situation we were in before the takeover,” he said.
“Squad-wise, we’re a little bit behind, there is no doubt about that, but I’m very happy with the business we’ve done and the projected business we’ll do over the coming weeks.
“I’m no different to the fans, I’d love to have the squad ready for the beginning of pre-season but I’m delighted with the players we have and the improvement we have already seen in the first week and a half.
“Now, it’s about choosing the right players, lads who want to give their all and work hard to represent the town, to complement the core of the players we have.
“We have a style of play in our head and we are recruiting with that aspect in mind. With the players that we have, and the players that we are looking to bring in, I think we will have a different look about us this season and I’m really excited by that.”