PNE swoop for Dundalk duo

Daryl Horgan in action for Dundalk
Daryl Horgan in action for Dundalk
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Preston North End have completed the signings of Dundalk duo Daryl Horgan and Andy Boyle.

The pair helped Dundalk – also nicknamed the Lilywhites – to the League of Ireland title in October and both featured in the Irish club’s recent Europa League campaign.

Andy Boyle (No.4) in action for Dundalk against Maccabi Tel Aviv last week

Andy Boyle (No.4) in action for Dundalk against Maccabi Tel Aviv last week

Both were called-up to the Republic of Ireland squad last month.

Horgan, a winger who can play on either side of the pitch, scored 27 goals in 132 appearances for Dundalk during his three years Oriel Park.

The 24-year-old previously played for Cork City and Sligo Rovers.

Centre-half Boyle helped Dundalk to three consecutive League of Ireland titles.

The duo’s contracts with Dundalk ended last Friday after their Europa League game with Maccabi Tel Aviv, and they move to Deepdale on Bosman free transfers.

They have signed two-and-a-half year contracts.

North End manager Simon Grayson said: “First and foremost we have signed two players who have attracted a lot of interest from a lot of clubs over the past few weeks and months and we have had to work hard to get them, which shows our intent as a football club.

“Both players have had great seasons in their league and in Europe, leading to their call ups for the Irish squad. They are young, hungry and looking to improve and will be excellent acquisitions for us.

“I spoke to Steve Guppy, the Republic of Ireland coach, about both of them, who was very positive and we have watched them a number of times and they have been excellent at club level and handled the Europa League games very well.

“Daryl is a forward thinking players with a lot of goals.

“He makes things happen, has got a bit of pace about him, has a good delivery in him and he has scored a lot of goals this season.

“Andy is a good centre half, who can also handle the ball and both have shown their determination to join us by coming over a couple of times to meet us and got things done very quickly.

“They both have the desire to keep improving and joining a Championship club is the next progression for them – we have always tried to improve and we look forward to working with them.”

The deals will take effect from January 1 when the transfer window opens, with the players available for the visit to Burton Albion the following day.

North End have now signed three players ready for the new year, with Tom Barkhuizen last month having agreed to join having left Morecambe.