Johnny Dunleavy has agreed a new contract with Airtricity League Premier Division champions Cork City and vowed to put his injury nightmare behind him.

The club captain was rocked by a nightmare cruciate ligament injury back in June, missing out on a memorable climax to the campaign that saw John Caulfield's men wrap up the title and then beat Dundalk on penalties in the FAI Cup final.

He's likely to miss the start of the new season as he continues his rehab, but the Donegal man is on the comeback trail and is desperate to get back into the thick of the action.

"We knew that it was happening, but it was just a case of finding the right time to sit down and get everything sorted out and signed," he told the club's website.

"Now, it’s time to get the head down and focus on the rehab for another while.

"It’s never nice to sit and watch. I’m the worst watcher in the world, but everything is going according to plan so far and I’ll come back bigger and better than ever.

"John recruits well every year and this year is no different. The boys that have come in are quality players and will add competition. It’s exciting."

Caulfield showered Dunleavy with praise and backed his man to get back into the groove swiftly.

"Johnny is working very hard to get back and we all hope to see him back soon," said the manager. 

"We all know what a vital part of the club he is and what an outstanding player he is.

"The sooner he is back, the better for us and, while he will miss the start of the season, we believe he will be back before too long.

"I believe he is ahead of his original schedule, which is great to see, and we can’t wait to have him back."