LTFC.ie reporter Kieran Burke (@burko77_) gives us a run down on the new faces that will be on show for De Town tomorrow night at the newly christened City Calling Stadium.
Previous clubs: Middlesbrough, Scunthorpe United, Shelbourne, Dundalk, Athlone Town, St.Patrick’s Athletic, Monaghan United
Birthplace: Edinburgh, Scotland
A League of Ireland champion in 2003 with Shels, Chris Bennion joins Longford Town FC with a wealth of experience both in and outside the league. The Scot, who has no less than 9 senior clubs, also has a First Division title with Dundalk to his name as well as a Leinster Senior Cup success at St.Pat’s.
After losing Craig Hyland in the off-season, Town manager Tony Cousins was keen to bring in an experienced ‘keeper to challenge Paul Hunt for the number one jersey at the City Calling Stadium and that experience between the sticks could prove crucial for Longford as they chase promotion yet again this season.
Position: Full back
Previous clubs: Shamrock Rovers, Drogheda United, Limerick FC, Longford Town
Birthplace: Bray, Wicklow
Spotted at an early age Treacy signed with the historic Nottingham Forest at youth level, leading to an under-18 Republic of Ireland call up in which Treacy collected the Lisbon trophy of 2007. A move home was on the cards for the Bray native and in 2008 he joined Shamrock Rovers, where he made his League of Ireland debut against Derry City at Tolka Park in May. Treacy went on to play a further fourteen competitive games with the Hoops before a move to Drogheda where he racked up twenty appearances scoring once.
A First Division winner with Limerick last season, many Limerick fans were disappointed to see the versatile defender leave the Blues but no doubt Limerick’s loss will be Longford’s gain this season.
Previous clubs: Bray Wanderers, Wayside Celtic (Leinster Senior League)
Birthplace: Arklow, Wicklow
David O’Neill is the latest Longford Town acquisition from non-league football joining an illustrious list of names to have done so, most notably the Perth brothers who joined under Stephen Kenny’s reign. If O’Neill and his two other Wayside Celtic counterparts are to be half as successful as those signings were back in the day then we are in for a good season!
Previous clubs: Arklow Town, Wexford Youths
Birthplace: Arklow, Wicklow
The former Wexford Youths midfielder adds to the growing Arklow influence on “De Town” squad ahead of the 2013 season and is set to bring explosiveness from midfield with his never say die attitude that made him a regular during his time at Ferrycarrig Park in Wexford. Doyle has already got off the goals mark in pre-season with Town’s sole goal versus Bohemians in Dublin last Sunday so watch out for him again tonight as he looks to make it two from two for LTFC!
Previous clubs: Sheffield United, Central Coast Mariners (loan), Bluebell United, Sporting Fingal, Waterford United, Monaghan United, Cork City
A team-mate of Keith Gillespie at Sheffield United, the red-headed midfielder links back up with the former Northern Ireland international in the Midlands as Longford go searching for promotion back to the Promised Land in 2013.
After spending four years at the Blades between youth and senior level, with a strange loan spell to Australia in between, Quinn eventually left English football to return to Ireland with Bluebell United in 2009. Quinn, who quickly made a name for himself at this level, earned a move to big spenders Sporting Fingal in 2010, where
Quinn would collect twenty first team appearances before a move to, Longford’s promotion rivals in recent years, Waterford United. In between his move to Cork there was a spell with another Longford rival, Roddy Collin’s Monghan United before their withdrawal from the league last season.
Quinn has yet to collect a major honour in senior football despite playing for some top clubs and many will be hoping his no nonsense approach in midfield (or full-back, where Cousins has deployed him in pre-season) will fire Longford to league success.
Previous clubs: Mervue United, Salthill Devon
Nkolo’s performances against Longford last season had many people talking of a move for the Congo born midfielder and that move has come to be in the off-season with Tony Cousins looking to fill the void left by Tom Crawley’s recent departure to Derry City.
Full of pace and tricks, Nkolo is sure to give defences a different and dangerous approach to think about for the coming season as he looks to recreate the performances that shot him to prominence last term.
Previous clubs: Bray Wanderers, Wayside Celtic, Arklow Town
Rounding up the County Wicklow contingent is striker David O’Sullivan. Winner of the Irish amateur player of the year award last season, the now former Irish international amateur comes to the club with a prolific goal scoring record in the Leinster Senior League which as mentioned earlier is a goldmine for un-plucked talent.
In recent years, the lack of a clinical goal-scorer has hurt Longford’s chances badly but the arrival of O’Sullivan and the return of, fellow former Wanderers striker; Gary Shaw could possibly spell the end of those problems this time round.
Position: Centre back
Previous clubs: Bohemians, Longford Town (Loan), Athlone Town, Limerick FC
The name sounds familiar you say? Returning to the fold for 2013 is the towering centre-half Brian McCarthy. In his previous spell with Longford, on loan from Bohemians, McCarthy came within a whisker of been voted “De Town’s” player of the year after some heroic performances at the back.
It was a great shame to lose McCarthy to local rivals Athlone (also a loan) when we did as the six-foot plus central defender put him some sterling efforts to earn himself a move to Limerick (permanent deal) before finally ending back at Athlone last season permanently.
However, after been deemed surplus to requirements since the Roddy takeover down the road, McCarthy has landed back at the Strokestown Road venue and will give manager Tony great options at the back while Des Hope continues to return to fitness following a knee injury.
Everyone at the club would like to wish all the new signings a fantastic 2013 season and we hope they will enjoy their stay at the Flansiro (I can still call it that right?)