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Rovers job was an easy decision - Croly

AFTER nine years of toiling in the background, former Hoops player and assistant boss Trevor Croly believes he is ready for one of the biggest jobs in Irish soccer.

He will complete his coaching licence early next year and he is confident he can deal with the pressurised surrounds of Tallaght Stadium.

"I'm delighted to be here, it's come at a fantastic time for me in my career path and my plan in football," Croly said.

"I'm coming to the end of my pro licence and I've been coaching for the past nine years from various levels.

"I've clocked up the 10,000 hours. I'm coming into it well equipped.

"The ambition for the club is to be successful. It was a very easy decision (to take up the role). It's a fantastic place.

"Any time is a good time to be over Shamrock Rovers."

Croly believes that the knowledge and experience he has garnered over the past decade puts him in a better position than a retiring player jumping straight into management.

"It's a natural progression and the way to go is to educate yourself instead of diving in," he said.

"I think working towards it makes more sense to me rather than diving in. It'll be a smooth enough transition."

Negotiations

The first task of Croly's tenure was to meet the current crop of Rovers players, in and out of contract,

Only eight players in Pat Sullivan, Conor McCormack, Ronan Finn, Billly Dennehy, Tommy Stewart, Gary McCabe, Ciaran Kilduff and Conor Wynne are currently under contract at the club.

"I've spoken to all the players, out of contract and in contract, yesterday. I felt it was important to speak to them," he added.

"The ones under contract I'm delighted with, they are quality, so what a start to have."

Lots of new faces will be expected at Tallaght Stadium and rumours abound that Sligo Rovers trio Mark Quigley, James McGuinness and Gary Rogers are on their way to south Dublin.

"We've started that (identifying new players), I started last night. I've spoke to existing players and I've spoke to some other players. We want to add players.

"I admire them all. Gary, Jason and Mark and there are a lot of other players I admire at Sligo. They have been so good.

"Ideally we want to get players as soon as we can because then we can affect them sooner which will be more beneficial to them."

The new Hoops boss admitted that his main task in the off-season will be to find the firepower to fill the void left by the departure of Scottish striker Gary Twigg.

"It will be (my biggest challenge). Gary got so many goals, he was such a fantastic player," he added.

"That will be a challenge. We've still got good players like Ciaran (Kilduff) who was hit by injuries last year. He'll get goals and so will Tommy Stewart."

Along with Croly's appointment, Rovers also identified their new backroom team.

It includes Dublin All-Ireland winner Philly McMahon as strength and conditioning coach, a new role set-up under the advice of Brian Laws and a similar role to his Dublin team-mate at Leinster rugby, Bryan Cullen.

Regeneration

"Philly McMahon is coming in. Philly will be screening them, working with them immediately.

"They'll have their regeneration period but one problem I find with the league is that you're getting players each year kind of late and you haven't affected what they have done," Croly added.

"Where are they fitness wise and where are they strength wise? What you can do with them is limited, so this role will be very important to us."


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