Sunday 22 October 2017

Double joy for Hoops as FAI poised to give 'B' team green light and €600,000 sponsorship deals unveiled

Gary O’Neill had his season with Drogheda United abruptly cut short after he was diagnosed with testicular cancer, but since then the striker has received plenty of support – including a recent visit from Roy Keane
Gary O’Neill had his season with Drogheda United abruptly cut short after he was diagnosed with testicular cancer, but since then the striker has received plenty of support – including a recent visit from Roy Keane

Garry Doyle

Shamrock Rovers are confident of striking an agreement with the FAI within the next 72 hours to secure the introduction of their 'B' team into next season's League of Ireland First Division.

A further meeting is likely to take place over the weekend between the two parties to finalise the terms which will see the club become the first in Ireland to enter a second senior team into the league.

With the major stumbling block -- the requirement of Shamrock Rovers to continue with an U-19 side -- no longer an issue, the green light is about to be given.

While that was one form of good news for the club, another came from two sponsorship deals announced yesterday, one with Pepper Asset Servicing, the other with kit manufacturers, Warrior, which between them are worth €600,000 over three years.

"This shows that Rovers as a brand is a very attractive one," said club chairman Jonathan Roche.

Meanwhile, Gary O'Neill, the former Drogheda United striker who has been battling testicular cancer since September, returned to training yesterday for the first time since his operation in October.

The 31-year-old hooked up with the PFAI's winter training course at the AUL complex and is still hoping to resume his career next season.

Irish Independent

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