New Dundalk midfielder Sam Stanton sought the advice of a Lilywhites old boy before completing his move to Oriel Park recently.
The 26-year-old Scot, who describes himself as “a good passer of the ball and someone who can pop up with goals and assists”, signed for the club at the end of January but only joined the group on Monday morning after spending a fortnight in quarantine.
A former teammate of Richie Towell from their time at Hibernian, Stanton also played alongside Cammy Smith, who spent a period on loan at Oriel Park last season, at Dundee United. Smith’s spell at Dundalk was shortlived due to the onset of COVID-19 but Stanton said the tricky attacker gave him a glowing review of his time at the club.
“I played with Cammy for two or three years at Dundee United and I spoke to him about the move,” he told dundalkfc.com. “He told me it was something he definitely recommended.
“He was only here for a couple of months last year but he really enjoyed it and he gave me a great impression of the club and it was something that made my decision easier.
“I obviously saw Dundalk play in the Europa League last season and their style of play suits me,” he added. “I played in a couple of the qualifying rounds with Hibs but I’ve never played in the group stages so when you see teams like Dundalk there, it’s really exciting and it’s somewhere you want to test yourself.”
Stanton helped Dundee United to promotion from the Scottish Championship before moving to America in January 2020. There, he played 18 times for Phoenix Rising as they advanced to the USL Championship final but COVID-19, and the projected late start of the 2021 USL season, saw his time in the states come to a premature end last December.
“We won the Western Conference final which was very exciting because Phoenix had never won a championship before but the Championship final was abandoned because the team we were due to play had something like 11 COVID cases! It summed up the year really,” he said.
“The new season doesn’t start until May which was too long for me to wait without doing anything. I obviously have family in Scotland and I didn’t want to go back to America too early. It was nice to spend time with them over Christmas so Phoenix came to an agreement with me to go and try something else.”
That opened the door for a move to the SSE Airtricity League and Stanton said he was looking forward to working with a Lilywhites squad that contains four fellow new boys.
“It’s exciting for everyone,” he said. “It’s good for us as new lads as there’s a couple of new faces in which will make life easier and it’s also good for the current players to see fresh faces come in and get them going again. The League of Ireland is a different experience for me and I can’t wait to get started.”