Ex-Rangers midfielder Dean Shiels signs for Dundalk

Dean Shiels played at Ibrox for four seasons. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
Dean Shiels played at Ibrox for four seasons. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
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Dean Shiels has signed for Irish champions Dundalk after leaving Rangers earlier this summer.

The midfielder played for four years at Ibrox after joining in 2012 as a free agent following his exit from Kilmarnock.

He featured mainly in a squad rotation role last season, sharing playing time with Nicky Law and Gedion Zelalem in the Rangers midfield.

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He was released following the expiration of his contract this summer and has had to wait almost three months before finding a new club.

Dundalk scooped up the player two days after their valiant effort to get into the Champions League group stages failed at the final hurdle.

The Irish side, managed by former Dunfermline boss Stephen Kenny, led 1-0 away to Legia Warsaw as they attempted to overcome a 2-0 home deficit from the first leg in their play-off tie. The match finished 1-1, eliminating Dundalk from Europe’s elite competition, but they do have the consolation of the Europa League group stages to look forward to.

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Shiels has since signed up for the new adventure. In a statement on the club website he said: “I want to win things. I have won trophies in Scotland and Dundalk have won trophies over the last couple of years so that’s what I have come here for. I want to win as many things as possible and the lure of European football helped too.

“I used to live with Stephen O’Donnell at Arsenal for a few years so I know him quite well and that helps but I am looking forward to it. I have heard nothing about good things about the club and the league so I can’t wait to get started.”

Shiels started as a youth product at Arsenal before Tony Mowbray gave him his first taste of first-team action when the former Hibernian manager brought him to Easter Road.

After leaving Hibs in 2009, he returned to Scotland in 2011 to play for dad Kenny Shiels at Kilmarnock. In his one season at Rugby Park he was nominated for the SPFA Players’ Player of the Year award, while also helping the Ayrshire club to win the League Cup.

That summer he jumped at the chance to join Rangers, helping the club to win three lower league titles as they made their way back to the Ladbrokes Premiership.

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