Tuesday 25 July 2017

Burke and Bone bolster Bradley's ranks at Rovers

Shamrock Rovers are still on the lookout for a striker after recruiting Graham Burke and Sam Bone yesterday ahead of next week’s league kick-off. Photo: PA
Shamrock Rovers are still on the lookout for a striker after recruiting Graham Burke and Sam Bone yesterday ahead of next week’s league kick-off. Photo: PA

John Fallon

Shamrock Rovers are still on the lookout for a striker after recruiting Graham Burke and Sam Bone yesterday ahead of next week's league kick-off.

Former Ireland U-21 attacker Burke severed his ties with Notts County three months before his two-year deal was due to expire. The 23-year-old failed to spark at the League Two strugglers since joining from Aston Villa in the summer of 2015 and had been a peripheral figure under new boss Kevin Nolan at Meadow Lane.

Burke is known more of a creator than a finisher and Hoops manager Stephen Bradley will be hoping the playmaker can rekindle the form he displayed in Villa's triumphant NextGen campaign in 2013.

"Graham's ability as a player is second to none," noted Bradley. "He's up there with the best. He just needs to work on his fitness."

Burke will augment Gary Shaw and teenager Michael O'Connor in the attacking area but Rovers are still missing the established goalscorer to afford their title ambitions credibility.

Christy Fagan was close to switching from St Patrick's Athletic only to stay put, while the possibility of Dave Mooney returning to his former club from Southend United has receded.

Malaysian-born Bone earned a deal after training with Rovers for the past month. The ex-Charlton player, who spent 18 months out battling cancer, can play in defence or midfield.

Meanwhile, Connor Ronan's scintillating form at Wolves is catching the eye of English FA coaching staff. The 18-year-old winger has represented Ireland at underage level for the last two years having initially represented his native England in an U-16 tournament.

England officials have enquired about Ronan's allegiance through intermediaries. However, the youngster is fully committed to Ireland and is due to play in next month's U-19 Euro elite qualifiers in Belgium.

Irish Independent

Promoted articles

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport