Destination Dundalk For Zak Bradshaw

Credit Lincoln City FC

The loan destination for our new signing, Zak Bradshaw, has been confirmed as League of Ireland outfit Dundalk.

The 20-year-old, whom we captured from Championship side Ipswich, was on loan at Woking before his move to the Imps but will now appear for The Lilywhites, who finished fifth in the table last season.

It was always expected the so-called ‘project player‘ would go out on loan, with Jez George suggesting as much when he signed for the Imps on Friday.

“Zak is a really interesting player, being left-footed and with the attributes that fit our recruitment profile for several positions. He has already played a number of games in the National League, and we think that he has real potential.

We would like to thank Ipswich Town for allowing Zak to spend this week with us so that we could see him in our environment. He has really impressed Michael and the coaching staff with his ability, application, and attitude.

“It is really important that Zak keeps playing, and therefore, we are currently assessing the best options for him to go out on loan until the end of season.”

Bradshaw, who has previously appeared for Chelmsford, Braintree, Bromley, and Woking, will now take his place opposite Oisin Gallagher and Hayden Cann in the Louth derby. Louth is the only county in Ireland with two teams playing elite-level football, making it one of Ireland’s most interesting derby matches.

Touching on the label of a project player, which has stuck to Zak, implies to me something of a risk or a gamble. I don’t think that is the case, certainly no more than any other young player we sign, from Jay Benn to Charley Kendall, Sean Roughan to Elicha Ahui. The skill with any young player is to find one with potential and then develop them through loans and coaching. Zak has clearly had a decent amount of potential to have been kept on at Ipswich, so Imps fans could well be in for a surprise once he’s got some senior Irish football behind him.

As for his new club, Dundalk plays at the Oriel Ground, with a capacity of 4,500. They are a 14-time League of Ireland champion, with five of those successes coming in the last decade. In nine of the last ten seasons, they’ve played European football, featuring against Arsenal in the Europa League a couple of years ago. This coming season, they will not feature in Europe, having missed out by two points, courtesy of Jack Moylan’s five goals in his final two games for Shelbourne, ensuring they will play in the Conference League instead.