By Robert O’Reilly
Drogheda United are delighted to announce that Gareth McCaffrey and Richie Purdy have both re-signed for the club ahead of the new season.
The pair joined on loan from Shamrock Rovers in the July transfer window but they have now agreed permanent deals which will keep them at United Park for 2017.
McCaffrey, who spent time in Scotland with Hibernian as a youth, made his debut for the Drogs in a 2-0 away win to Shelbourne in July and he would go on to make a crucial impact in the club’s promotion push.
The 20-year-old forward netted six times in 12 appearances including the winner in the promotion/relegation semi-final victory against Cobh Ramblers.
With his future now secured, the Dubliner revealed that the squad’s togetherness was vital in his decision to re-sign.
“I’m over the moon to sign on for next season,” McCaffrey admitted Sunday evening. “I took a week off from football after the Wexford game to think about my options, there were a couple of offers from other Premier Division clubs, but I’m confident I’ve made the right decision to stay at Drogheda.
“I joined the club at a difficult time for myself. I was considering hanging up my boots because I was frustrated with football but Pete Mahon and everyone at the club helped me enjoy my football again and I’m a happier person for it.
“It wasn’t just the fact that we got promoted that convinced me to stay. There’s some very good people at the club from the fans, players, coaches, all the way up to the chairman. It’s great to see that the spine of the squad have re-signed and we all know the quality Gavin Brennan has and him joining has given us another big lift ahead of next year.”
Midfielder Purdy made his first appearance for the Boynesiders in their 1-0 home win over Cabinteely and was an ever-present from that point onwards making 14 appearances in total.
Having spent time on loan at Cabinteely in 2015, he was no stranger to First Division football but the 19-year-old is confident that Drogheda will have enough quality to make the step up to the Premier Division.
“I’m thrilled to have it sorted and to be able to look forward to next season,” he explained. “I had no intention of leaving the club after what we achieved last season. It takes a very good team to come back from 2-0 down against Wexford Youths and to win 3-0 in such a high-pressure game.
“Pete Mahon, John Gill, Mark Kinsella and all the other coaches have been brilliant to me since I signed so I want to continue to repay their faith in me.
“it was great to see Gavin Brennan sign back yesterday. I’ve played with him at Shamrock Rovers last year and I know all the quality he has, similar to both his brother Sean and Sean Thornton. I think we have the quality and experience in the group to have a successful year next season.”