Dundalk FC have confirmed the signing of goalkeeper Alessio Abibi, a player the club's manager, Filippo Giovagnoli, says will fits in well with the way he wants his side to play net season.
The 24-year-old was born in Italy but was capped at under-19 level by Albania and had played club football in both countries while also having had a short stint in Spain.
He arrives as a free agent having parted company with Albanian side Kastriot by mutual agreement in November, just two months after he had signed, without having managed to make an appearance. Having made his debut in senior club football at 17, however, he does have around 100 games under his belt.
“Alessio was one of the goalkeepers that I studied and scouted and of them all, he was the one with the best characteristics of how we want to play,” said Giovagnoli.
“He is big, really good in the air, strong on defensive set-pieces, brave and good on the ball in the build-up. He is also young, only 24, and is a player that we can develop. He has a brilliant future ahead of him.”
Abibi's arrival at Oriel Park follows the departure of Gary Rogers, a key figure in the hugely successful sides of recent years, and Aaron McCarey, who also featured in last season's Europa League group stage. Rogers retired at the end of the season while McCarey, who had been seen when he signed as a long-term replacement, was released.
Bohemians, meanwhile, have signed defender Rory Feely who move across Dublin from Richmond Park following a second stint with St Patrick's Athletic.
"Rory is a very experienced player despite his relatively young age," says manager Keith Long of the 24-year-old.
“He is a very athletic and adaptable addition to our squad. He will bring good qualities to the team and give us options in several positions with his versatility and ability.”
Feely’s brother, Kevin, previously played for Bohemians before joining Charlton Athletic. He subsequently had a spell with Newport County before returning home and concentrating on Gaelic football with Kildare.
Finn Harps have signed midfielder Conor Barry from Galway United.