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Dundalk have dipped into the loan market yet again, acquiring the services of Lewis Macari for next six months. 

If the name sounds familiar, it's with just cause. The Stoke City defender is the grandson of Manchester United and Celtic legend, Lou Macari, and the son of former Stoke forward, Paul Macari.

A Scotland U19 international, Macari has been a near ever-present for Stoke's U23 team in the Premier League 2 this season.

The 20-year old is just the latest UK-based youngster to move to Oriel Park in search of first-team football - at least in the short term. Lilywhites boss Stephen O'Donnell has already signed Steven Bradley from Hibs, Dan Williams from Swansea, and Mark Connolly on loan deals.

Macari says Stoke's former League of Ireland manager encouraged him to cross the Irish Sea.

“I spoke to Michael O’Neill," he told, and he wanted me to come over here and get some men’s football under my belt.

“I haven’t had a proper first-team loan since I’ve been at Stoke, I’ve just been playing academy and U23s football. I need some first-team experience so they thought it was a good idea for me to come to Ireland and try something different.

“The League of Ireland is competitive, it’s tough and it’s completely different to what I’d be used to so it will be a good experience for me, both in terms of football and life in general, to come here.”

O'Donnell says the defender comes highly-rated from his parent club.

"We have watched him snd he is very versatile," said the former Pat's boss, "His primary position is right-back but he can also fill in at centre-back and left-back.

“He is very reliable and he has a great temperament which is very important and we are looking forward to working with him. He will be involved against Drogheda on Friday and his last game for Stoke was only last week so, from a fitness point of view, that is a great starting point.”

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