Stephen Kenny extends his stay at Dundalk

Kenny has led the Lilywhites to consecutive league titles

Stephen Kenny extends his stay at Dundalk

Image: ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Stephen Kenny will remain as Dundalk manager after signing a contract extension which will keep him at the club until 2018.

Kenny, who's current deal runs out at the end of this season, has led the Lilywhites to back-to-back league crowns and FAI Cup and EA Sports Cup wins since taking over in 2012.

"My contract was up in November so I only had a short period of time left to run" he told dundalkfc.cm.

"I have agreed to stay on as manager for the next three years. This is my fourth year here as manager and when I came to the club we had nothing.

"I had a blank canvas, the team finished bottom. A lot of people found it difficult to be optimistic but I believed that with hard work and dedication that we could achieve a lot."

“It has been incredible really the last two seasons, winning the two league titles, the FAI Cup and the EA Sports Cup as well as the Leinster Senior Cup and President’s Cup. It has been an incredible journey from bottom to top.

Kenny also paid tribute to his players and praised their character over the past two seasons.

"John Mountney and Chris Shields have been a huge part of that from the team that played in the relegation playoff. Here they are as double league champions so it’s a great story from their point of view.

“It is a unique group of players. They have really been special. It has been a great journey. It has never been about any individuals.

"It has been the collective strength of the squad and the group. There’s a real sense of teamwork when we are attacking and defending. Even though the team comes first, we really encourage our players to fulfil their individual talent within the framework of the team.

“We have got players with real character. I think over the last couple of seasons we have seen that in abundance but the challenge is to sustain it. It’s not an easy challenge. Because of other issues Oriel Park has stood still so we have had to overcome that as a group.

We have to put that to the back of our minds and focus on our own thing. That can be a frustration to people off the pitch because you want to continually move forward. We have to collectively sustain the level that we have been at. We have only lost one of the last forty-eight in league and FAI Cup. That’s a level of consistency we want to keep.”