SSE Premier Division champions Dundalk have been handed a timely boost with the news that club captain Stephen O'Donnell has signed a new two-year contract with the club.
O'Donnell has led the Lilywhites to three league titles in a row and to the group stages of the Europa League but there had been questions over his future.
Dundalk have already seen Daryl Horgan, Andy Boyle and Ronan Finn leave the club and there were fears that O'Donnell could be next but he has now committed his future to the Oriel Park club.
"[I'm] always happy to sign a new deal so I am delighted to get things sorted before Christmas," he said. "I am in for the next two years so a bit of stability for myself as well which is good but delighted to stay.
"I am really looking forward to getting going again next season. I can’t wait for it all to start again now."
The Dundalk skipper has now turned his attentions to adding to his collection of medals as a Dundalk player and said: "Like the three-in-a-row was, our aim now is to go for the fourth.
"We want to keep our league title. It’s the most important to us. Our goal is to win the league, it’s our main priority and next year is no different.
"We are under no illusions and it is going to be very tough, we know that. People seem to be writing us off already after losing the players but we aren’t worried. There will be a rejuvenated hunger in the squad don’t worry.
"There’ll be a huge motivation in the players still here and those coming in to prove everyone wrong yet again to show that we are still the team to beat."
Meanwhile, Galway United have announced that Paul Sinnott, Conor Melody and Padraic Cunningham have signed new contracts with the club.
Galway manager Shane Keegan said of the trio: "Paul is a thorough professional, I've spoken to a lot of people since I've arrived at the club and everyone has spoken in complimentary terms about Paul's personality and his approach. His experience will be invaluable to us, he's such a sensible head and natural leader.
"Conor was a constant thorn in my side last season when we faced Galway United. He was man of the match against Wexford Youths in Eamonn Deacy Park then he went on to score at Ferrycarrig Park later in the year.
"He's a really technical midfielder, his game intelligence, vision and movement is so good and so clever. He's a real thinker but also quite instinctive at times.
"You're looking at a player, if he [Padraic] fulfils his potential, he has the possibility of being an absolute star.
"The only thing that can stop him fulfilling that potential is the failure to reach his physical peak.
"He's a player who will be getting to know Johnny O'Connor (Strength and conditioning coach) very well over the next couple of months, but that's what he wants."