Greg Sloggett impressed by Dundalk setup since moving to Oriel Park from Derry City
The 23-year-old goes up against his former club in the season opener tonightby Paul O'Hehir
Out from the shadows and into the light, Greg Sloggett wouldn’t have it any other way as he embarks on life with the champions.
As fate would have it, he faces his old club tonight in the opening game of the season - but that is nothing new to the 23-year-old Meath man.
Last season, his first game for Derry City was at home to UCD, the club where he had spent the previous five-and-a-half seasons.
Candystripes fans were sad to see Sloggett leave after just one year, such was the impact he made on their midfield in his first top-flight campaign.
But when you play with that level of consistency, you’re going to turn heads and Dundalk just happened to be in the market for a Robbie Benson replacement.
“I’m pleased with how it went for me,” Sloggett told Mirror Sport of his time with Declan Devine’s side.
“I felt I proved my worth but when a club like Dundalk looks to sign you, it’s hard to turn them down.”
Sloggett is ready to embrace the challenge of making a name for himself with the most successful club of the last decade.
“There is a certain pressure that comes with playing and winning consistently but I want to help the team continue that success,” he said.
“It’s only my second year in full-time football but I want to break into this team and be successful - I’m absolutely ready for it.
“Champions League was another big factor coming here but you don’t want to be on the bench or in the stands when those games roll around.
“I’m here with the intention of nailing down a starting spot.”
Sloggett has moved to Dundalk town and is living with his former UCD team-mate and housemate Georgie Kelly, Jordan Flores and fellow new arrival Will Patching.
He admits the strength and conditioning levels within Dundalk’s dressing room have been an eye-opener for him.
The Lilywhites are not unique in this, but players are sent programmes through an app on their phone and were monitored over Christmas and into pre-season.
Sloggett added: “When I went to Derry, it was a new group and they’ve had a lot of turnover again this season so it’s hard for them.
“But Dundalk are a settled group. They have been successful and investment comes with that and their S&C is as good as it gets.
“The standard is naturally going to be higher but the strength and fitness of these players is unparalleled in the league.”
That said, Sloggett knows exactly what Devine will dish up at Oriel tonight and has his new club warned about the old one.
“Derry will be well up for it,” he insisted. “They will be coming here on a mission to take points off us and we’ll have to be at the races.”