Manager: Johnny McDonnell
Stadium: United Park
Players In: Niall Flynn (unattached), Neil Yadolahi (FC Banants), Alan Byrne (Athlone Town), Joe Gorman (Bray Wanderers), Mark Hughes (Athlone Town), Sean Thornton (Bala town), Sean Brennan (Athlone Town), Shane Dunne (Wexford Youths), Jason Marks (Athlone Town), Lee Duffy (Shelbourne), Tiarnan Mulvenna (Cliftonville), Matthew Rooney (Portadown), Michael Scott (Malahide Town), Adam Whelan (Shamrock Rovers B), Daryl Kavanagh (Sligo Rovers)
Players Out: Daire Doyle (Shelbourne), Alan McNally (Bray Wanderers), Paul Andrews (Shelbourne), Ciaran McGuigan (Unattached), Peter McGlynn (Bray Wanderers), Shane Grimes (Dundalk), Gavin Brennan (Shamrock Rovers), Paul Crowley (Retired), Garreth Brady (Unattached), Gavan Holohan (Cork City), Adam Wixted (Bohemians), Declan O’Brien (Glenavon), Gary O’Neill (Tolka Rovers)
Extratime.ie Key Man: Neil Yadolahi
Yadolahi has missed the majority of pre-season due to a knee injury but he looks set to comprise a centre-back partnership with Alan Byrne when Drogheda travel to Bray on Saturday. Given the attacking talent that United have, Johnny McDonnell may be more concerned with how their defence will fare and much of that pressure will rest of the shoulders of the much travelled 21 year-old.
Extratime.ie One to Watch: Lee Duffy
The 23 year-old signed from Shelbourne in December where he had scored three goals in seven appearances under McDonnell as they ultimately came undone in their promotion push. The former Ballymun United man is capable of playing on either wing or as a striker and he made a strong impression on his competitive debut as he scored the opener in Drogheda’s Leinster Senior Cup defeat on penalties against Longford Town.
How they did last season:
League: 9th (Premier Division)
FAI Cup: Quarter-finals
EA Sports Cup: First Round
Top League Goalscorer: Declan O’Brien 10
What to expect for next season:
It has been another off-season of change at United Park with Johnny McDonnell replacing the departing Damien Richardson last December. In that time, the former Shels boss has brought in a staggering 15 players, meaning that Drogheda will start the campaign with a virtually unrecognisable squad.
Despite the lack of continuity, United will be looking to take swift advantage of a welcoming early set of fixtures in which they won’t face a side that finished in last season’s top four until mid April. A bright start feels imperative to what is a young squad, which will be complemented by a number of the club’s Under 19 players.
While the Boynesiders will no doubt have their hearts set on a lengthy Cup run, Premier Division survival will be of utmost importance but given the strength of their potential starting eleven, a low mid-table should be within their sights.
Title Odds: 400-1 (Paddy Power)
First game: vs Bray Wanderers (a) 7th March