Sunday 23 April 2017

O'Neill's arrival boosts Hoops' forward riches

Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

SHAMROCK ROVERS have made a significant addition to their expanding squad for the new League of Ireland season by capturing experienced striker Gary O'Neill.

The Dubliner , who was a free agent after the collapse of Sporting Fingal, has good memories of his new home in Tallaght -- he scored the cup final winner for the now defunct Fingal there in 2009.

O'Neill (29) joins a select group of players who have lined out for Dublin's 'Big Four' after previous spells with Bohemians, Shelbourne and St Patrick's Athletic.

His capture adds to Michael O'Neill's wealth of riches in the forward department as the Hoops go in search of a second successive league title.

The Northern Irishman already had the league's top marksman in the past two seasons -- Gary Twigg -- in his ranks and over the winter secured the signatures of highly rated youngsters Karl Sheppard and Ciaran Kilduff from Galway United and UCD respectively.

He also moved for former schoolboys star Dean Kelly after he returned home from a stint at Oldham.

O'Neill is expected to add a couple more new faces to his squad before Friday week's season opener against Dundalk. He remains in discussions with another former Fingal star, midfielder Ronan Finn, who has also attracted interest from across the water.

While the transfer window ahead of the new campaign closed last night, it does not prevent clubs from signing free agents -- a category which still includes a large number of well known players within the domestic game.

Meanwhile, the PFAI yesterday confirmed the payment of monies owed to the former players of Bohemians who were engaged in protracted redundancy package negotiations with the club over the winter. Four individuals have been paid in full, while a fifth has agreed to receive a second instalment down the line.

Bohs also need to finalise an arrangement with goalkeeper Barry Murphy.

Meanwhile, Rangers yesterday confirmed that Ally McCoist will take over from Walter Smith as manager at the end of the season.

Irish Independent

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