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Stephen Dooley signs new Cork City contract

11:02 AM EST 1/17/17
Stephen Dooley Mark Hughes Cork City Finn Harps 14102016
The former Derry City winger has agreed to extend his time at Turner's Cross, putting pen to paper on a new deal

Stephen Dooley has signed a new contract with Cork City ahead of the 2017 season.

The 25-year-old midfielder, who joined Cork in 2016 from Derry City, played a key role in his first campaign at the club as the Leesiders won the FAI Cup and finished second in the Premier Division.

"I’m very happy to sign back. I was working hard during the off-season getting ready for pre-season and I am delighted to get back in and get started," said the Portstewart native. 

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"Maybe last season there was a settling in period and I found myself in and out of the team, which is fair enough, but I am well settled in now and hopefully this year I can kick on and have a better year." 

Dooley made 37 appearances for Cork in all competitions last year, scoring five goals and featured six times in the Europa League as Cork reached the third qualifying round.

He added: "We will set ourselves the highest targets; we want to win the league, we want to win the cup again and in Europe, we had a good campaign. 

"We would like to go further in Europe this season. If we can improve on all those aspects, it would make for a very good year."

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Cork manager John Caulfield said that there had been interest in Dooley from other clubs and indicated that he was keen for the midfielder to remain at Turner's Cross.

"I am delighted Stephen has signed back," said Caulfield. 

"Like a lot of our top players, there was a lot of interest shown in him, but they are all buying into what we are trying to do and where we are trying to go."

Meanwhile, First Division club Cabinteely have confirmed the signing of former Republic of Ireland international Jason Byrne.

The 38-year-old striker joins Cabo from UCD, where he spent the 2016 season and he will be determined to break Brendan Bradley's long-standing League of Ireland goal-scoring record in 2017.

Byrne, who counts Shelbourne, Bray Wanderers, Bohemians and Cardiff City among his former clubs has 221 goals, leaving him 14 shy of Bradley's total of 235.