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Kenna: Rovers risk worth taking

HE TOOK a risk in giving up the chance to captain a club into the Champions League next summer, but Conor Kenna insists he has made the right decision in quitting St Patrick's Athletic to join Shamrock Rovers.

There was a lot of traffic between the two Dublin clubs since the end of last season with a full five-a-side team moving from Rovers to Pats, but one of the headline deals of the transfer market was Kenna quitting Richmond Park for Tallaght Stadium.

That means Kenna has passed up on European football for 2014 as Rovers failed to qualify but, as he prepares for his Hoops debut at home to Derry City tomorrow, the former UCD man has no doubts in his mind.

"I thought about it a lot and I spoke to my family before making the decision, and the fact that I was turning down Champions League football next season was in my mind," said Kenna.

"But I had my mind made up and I wanted a new challenge. I had four years at Pats, four good years and it was great to win the league in the last season and get myself a medal, but I want to move on now and do the same with Rovers.

"There were a few factors but at the end of the day it just suited me at this stage of my life to move on. Rovers have come in for me a few times before and I didn't move, but this year I spoke to Trevor Croly at Rovers, I liked what he had to say about the club and his plans and I felt it was right to move on," added Kenna, aware that Rovers have completely rebuilt their squad over the close season, 14 players exiting Tallaght Stadium since last term.

"I imagine it will be interesting when I go back to Inchicore to play for Rovers having been club captain at Pats but that's what football is about, I will get some stick but it's part of the game and I will deal with it.

"I wasn't at the club last season so I can't comment on what went wrong for Rovers but Trevor is well aware of what the problems were and how to fix them, he has brought in a lot of new players, young players who are very hungry to succeed and I want to be part of that. It will take us time to gel as a team but we will do well this season," added Kenna.

Rovers defender Simon Madden, back at the club for a second spell, misses out with a suspension carried over from last season, with Shane Robinson also banned. Derry's new signing Jon-Paul McGovern may not be fit in time for his debut.