Former Chelsea midfielder Conor Clifford signs for Dundalk

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Stephen Kenny has recruited the former Republic of Ireland Under-21 international, who previously played for Chelsea among others

Dundalk have confirmed the signing of Conor Clifford ahead of the 2017 League of Ireland season.

The 25-year-old former Chelsea youth captain, who counts Leicester City, Plymouth Argyle and Southend United among his former clubs, joins the Lilywhites from Boreham Wood.

"I am delighted to have signed with the club. I spoke with (Dundalk manager) Stephen Kenny and things went well there so I can’t wait to get started," Clifford said after the news was confirmed.

"Stephen was massive in my decision. I like the way that the team played last year and he has done great things with Dundalk. I am looking forward to playing under him so I am happy to be here."

A regular for the Republic of Ireland at all youth levels, Dublin native Clifford was on the fringes of the senior national team during the reign of Giovanni Trapattoni and spent nine years of his career playing in England.

He is now looking forward to helping the Irish champions as they look to build upon last season's European exploits, which saw them compete in the Europa League group stage.

"Europe is something I am looking forward to this season," admitted the former Crumlin United youth.

"I watched Dundalk in the Champions League and Europa League last season and I was very impressed with them. The style of football was good and they played well.

"I want to do something similar this year. I want to help repeat that but I want to win trophies as well. I want to win things. That’s the aim and hopefully we can achieve that."

Meanwhile, Dundalk have also confirmed that John Mountney has committed his future to the club by signing a new contract.

The 23-year-old Mayo native joined the Louth outfit in 2012 and has made 188 appearances during his time at Oriel Park. He will now enter his sixth season with the reigning champions.

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