PNE’s new Irish duo’s perfect year

Andy Boyle in action for Dundalk
Andy Boyle in action for Dundalk
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New boys Andy Boyle and Daryl Horgan say their moves to Preston have capped a fantastic year – and they cannot wait to make a big impact at Deepdale in 2017.

The Dundalk pair were officially announced as PNE players yesterday, with their Bosman moves taking effect from January 1.

Both players will bring with them great memories of 2016.

They helped Dundalk to a third successive League of Ireland title and were called up to the Republic of Ireland squad.

There was an adventure in Europe too, Boyle and Horgan sampling the Champions League and Europa League.

Dundalk reached the final qualifying round in the Champions League, beating Icelandic club Hafnurfjaroar and FC Bate from Belarus, before being knocked out by Legia Warsaw.

They went into the Europa League, playing in a group with AZ Alkmaar, Zenit St Petersburg and Maccabi Tel Aviv.

Boyle and Horgan’s final game for Dundalk was a 2-1 defeat to Maccabi on Thursday.

PNE’s interest in them goes back a few months.

They were watched in action several times by North End staff, one of those games being the Irish Cup final in which Dundalk were beaten 1-0 by Cork City.

“We have had a great run with Dundalk in Europe, won the league and then got an international call-up,” said centre-half Boyle.

“So it has been a great year and this move has capped it.

“We won the league three years in a row at Dundalk and there wasn’t much more to achieve in the League of Ireland, so coming here in a big test.”

Horgan had attracted interest from a number of clubs including Rangers, Ipswich, Celtic and Newcastle.

The 24-year-old is equally at home on both sides of the pitch and likes to cut inside.

Said Horgan: “I met the manager and was impressed by everything that he had to say.

“It just all seemed to fit and hopefully I can fit in here.”

Boyle’s move was agreed ahead of that of Horgan.

PNE had intended to complete Horgan’s switch last Friday, once Dundalk had returned from Tel Aviv.

But their flight home got delayed overnight and it was not until Saturday that Horgan got to Deepdale.

He completed a medical and completed personal terms.

Both players have been given some holiday time, the League of Ireland having started in March.

They are due to join up with the PNE squad later next week and will be available to play in the January 2 visit to Burton.