Former Mervue United striker and Loughrea native Pat Hoban ended his 11-year stint with Dundalk on Friday night by scoring twice in a 5-1 win over UCD that saw his club record-extending goal tally reach a very impressive 150 goals for the Lilywhites. Despite still having a year left on his current contract at Oriel Park, 32-year-old Hoban admitted that he had played his last game for the club where he won 3 league titles and two FAI Cups. His departure clears the way for a potential move to another Premier Division outfit, most likely Derry City. For all his success at Dundalk, however, club captain Hoban was clearly disappointed at the manner of his impending departure:
“From what I’ve been told, that’s my last game for Dundalk FC. At the end of the day I was told to leave and I was told I could leave. I’m not going to stay anywhere I’m not wanted. I still feel like I have a lot to give to the game. I’m 32. I’d like to think I still have two or three good years left in me and at the end of the day I have to look after myself and go find somewhere else. I am sad, I’m not going to beat around the bush, I thought I was going to end my career here. I still have a year left on my contract and I was told my services aren’t needed anymore basically. I was told I could leave. It was gutting. I was driving back to Galway to go see my daughter, but I’ve made peace with it now. The decision was made and it can’t be reversed. I’ve taken it on the chin. I know it’s football and this is probably the side of the game no one sees, but the decision is made and that’s it. That’s football. The decision is made and I have to act on it as well. I’m not going to stay somewhere where I’m not wanted. Like, I have a year contract, I could, but what’s the point of doing that? I feel like I’ve two or three years left in me, really good ones, so I’m not going to do that. I’m going to go elsewhere and continue on in a new chapter. It’s the last time I’m ever going to put on a Dundalk FC jersey, but it won’t be the last time I’ll be playing against them, I’ll be playing against them next year, so it won’t be my last time in Oriel Park. I’ll be doing a job for someone else and that’s just the way it is. I’ll tell you one thing… I feel like I’ve been a small bit doubted, and that’s the biggest driver for me. I love it when people doubt me, so I’m looking forward to next season already. I think I’ve had a good season. I’ve only been out for three weeks in the season. I’ve been available for 95% of the games this year. That’s nine assists and 15 goals. I’d always like to have more goals, especially in the league. If you play 36 games as a striker you’d like to be getting nearer the 20 mark. It wasn’t to be, but I’m happy overall in that sense.”
Before he leaves Dundalk, Hoban has a sold-out testimonial night on November 17th in recognition of him breaking Joey Donnelly’s all-time scoring record for the club back in June.