Club: Drogheda United
Manager: Tim Clancy
Stadium: United Park
Highest attendance this season: 580 vs Shelbourne, 1-1, Friday, 27th April.
Highest league goalscorer: Mark Doyle, Sean Brennan (both 7).
Mid-season position: Second.
How we thought they would do
Our extratime.ie staff predictions from before the season began saw Drogheda finishing third, in a play-off position, behind Galway and Finn Harps.
How they really have done
Drogheda are currently second in the First Division, level on points with third-placed Shelbourne. Both sides are seven points behind league leaders UCD, who beat the Boynesiders 2-0 just two weeks before the mid-season break began.
Moment of the season so far
Rather than picking out one game, the way in which Drogheda started the season, by beating Athlone 6-0 and Wexford 8-1 in their first two games, may just be the standout. They showed their capability in front of goal again in April when beating Cobh 5-1 away from home and have scored in 15 of their 17 league games this season – the defeats to UCD and Longford before the break being the only games where they failed to find the net in the league this season.
Star Player – Conor Kane
Left-back Conor Kane impressed last season in what was a tough season for Drogheda United as they were relegated from the Premier Division. He has continued his impressive form, both in a defensive manner, usually in a back four alongside Colm Deasy, Kevin Farragher and Ciaran Kelly. Kane is also threatening going forward, not afraid to take on players, and has formed a very good link up with top scorer Mark Doyle on the left for Drogheda.
Surprise star player: Mark Doyle
This wouldn’t have been a surprise to Drogheda fans who have seen the form Doyle has been in for their under-19 side in recent seasons, as well as in his first games in the First Division in 2016. He was then given several chances to play in the Premier Division while Drogheda were struggling last season and yet again impressed.
Young player: Mark Doyle
Doyle again, still only 19. The forward, who can play on the wing or up top, has been Drogheda’s main threat going forward for the most part of this season, and is now their joint top scorer, having scored seven goals so far this season.
Star signing: Ciaran Kelly
Signed from St. Patrick’s Athletic, Kelly was somewhat of an unknown, having largely only played at under-19 level. However, after impressing in pre-season, the teenager was given a starting spot in the centre of the Drogheda defence alongside Kevin Farragher and the duo have formed a solid partnership. Kelly is also a threat in the box, particularly from set pieces, having scored three goals in the league so far this season.
What they need to do in the transfer market
Another option up front and in midfield. perhaps a more attacking midfield options, is the most likely area to see Drogheda sign a player for, especially with the chance that some players may leave, to look for more regular playing time.
Where we see them finishing
UCD look favourites to win the league with how well they have been playing and the gap they currently have at the top of the table. A play-off place has to be the aim for Drogheda and given how well their season started, anything less might be a disappointment.