Four Dale players sign new contracts for 2021/22 season

Date published: 23 June 2021

Four Rochdale AFC players – including captain Eoghan O’Connell – have signed new contracts with the club.

The Dale captain has signed a new one-year contract, whilst Matty Done, Jay Lynch, and Stephen Dooley have also signed additional one-year contracts.

All said they were “delighted” to sign for another year.

O’Connell has been at the club since the summer of 2019 and has made 81 appearances during his time at the Crown Oil Arena, including 43 appearances in 2020/21.

He said: “I’m delighted to have signed and I’m looking forward to getting going again.

“I know last season didn’t work out the way we wanted it to. We want to put right what happened. I’ve been relegated before in my career and it eats away at you until you get the chance to get back in again and put it right, and we’re all itching to do that now.”

Chairman Simon Gauge added: “I’m thrilled and excited that Eoghan has signed a new contract. He is a leader at the club and this is a real sign of intent for the upcoming season.”

Thirty-two-year-old Done is in his third spell at the club and moved to joint tenth on Dale’s all-time appearance list last season.

His 282 appearances for Rochdale have come across seven seasons, including 41 appearances last season in all competitions.

Done said: “This club has been a long part of my career. We’ve had some really good times and we’ve got to rebuild to try and get back up where we were, with another promotion, which I was a part of last time.

“People will be coming and going, so we’ve got to rebuild. It’s up to the staff and the players to then build on that and start the campaign as we left the last one.”

Goalkeeper Lynch, 28, joined the club in August 2019 and has made 32 appearances to date.

He said: “Ever since missing out on staying up by one point last season, it’s been burning away at myself, and I’m sure it has with the other lads too.

“I think if we keep the core of the group together, and with a few additions, I do believe that we should be up there challenging for promotion.

“During the two years so far I’ve had to be patient. We’ve had two great goalkeepers on loan from Premier League clubs so it was all about patience.

“My moment came towards the end of the season, which coincided with a good run. I felt like I’d done enough to stay in the team and hopefully I can do enough to stay in the team this year and have a successful season.”

Dooley, 29, has spent three seasons at Dale so far, after initially joining the club in the summer of 2018.

The Northern Irishman has made 93 appearances for the club, including 37 last season, scoring five goals.

He said: “This year, we have such a good team with so many good players, I don’t see why we can’t be challenging near the top. Hopefully, with the fans back, it will be a much better season.”

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