FORGET the Aviva, we'll see you in Tallaght. That was the message from an elated Shamrock Rovers today as the Hoops came to terms with last night's superb Europa League win in Israel, which sets up a meeting with Italian giants Juventus.
Rovers today confirmed that they will ignore any suggestions to move next Thursday's home game with the Turin superstars to a bigger venue like the RDS or the new Lansdowne Road.
A second-half goal from Tommy Stewart earned Michael O'Neill's side the 1-0 win over Bnei Yehuda in Tel Aviv last night, setting up that meeting in the third qualifying round with Juventus.
The likes of Del Piero, Trezeguet, Grosso, and Camoranesi will play their first competitive game of the season in Dublin next Thursday, with the return leg in Modena a week later - Juve's home ground in Turin is out of bounds as a U2 concert is taking place there.
Rovers have had little time to digest what the fixture means as the squad left Israel this morning and are only due back in Dublin at 10.30 tonight on a connecting flight from Germany. The club's money men have yet to work out just how much the fixture will mean to the Hoops.
Offers of TV deals will start pouring in today and that's where Rovers could make some real money. But Rovers have guaranteed one thing - they will be playing Juve in Tallaght.
"We won't be going anywhere else, Tallaght is our home ground and getting Juventus in a big European tie is a massive reward for everyone at the club," a delighted Rovers chairman Jonathan Roche told the Herald today, discounting any suggestion that the Aviva Stadium could be used for the game.
"We can't put in temporary seats so we will be restricted to a 6,000 capacity. We have 3,000 season ticket holders and 500 members, Juve will get 300 tickets, so we will look after our own and make sure that people who have stood by Rovers in the hard times will get to the game.
"This will be one of the biggest games in the club's history. We played Manchester United and the Busby Babes in the past, we played Bayern Munich and played Celtic in the 1980s but Juventus in Tallaght will be something else. A year ago we had Real Madrid for a friendly, now it's Juve in a competitive game. It doesn't get much better."
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