Croly adds Brennan and O'Connor to new-look side
SHAMROCK ROVERS boss Trevor Croly has continued the rebuilding of his first-team squad by signing Drogheda's Ryan Brennan and UCD's David O'Connor, while former Hoop James Chambers has rejoined St Patrick's Athletic.
Croly has decided to overhaul the squad after a disappointing league campaign in his first season in charge and the addition of two 22-year-olds will reduce the age profile of his players.
Brennan is a highly regarded midfielder who was on target for the Boynesiders in their dramatic FAI Cup final loss to Sligo Rovers.
His decision to join the Hoops means that the four Brennan brothers will line out for different top-flight clubs next year, with Killian remaining at St Patrick's Athletic, Sean committed to Athlone and Gavin staying at home in Drogheda.
"I had a few offers on the table, but for me the decision was a no-brainer," said Brennan. "This is the biggest club in the country and I'm buzzing to have signed for Shamrock Rovers. I am working on my own fitness plan at the moment to get ready for pre-season."
O'Connor graduates to Tallaght after learning the ropes at Belfield.
"To be honest, I feel like this is a huge achievement for me," said the former Belvedere player.
"I am delighted to be signing for the biggest club in the country. I have been in contact with the manager since the season finished, so I am delighted to have actually signed and am looking forward to working hard in the the year ahead."
Chambers followed Croly to Tallaght last winter, but fell out of favour towards the end of the campaign and was released.
He will bolster a Saints midfield that will have to cope without John Russell next year. The popular Galwegian has been appointed the new FAI Development Officer for Sligo and has been strongly linked with a return to The Showgrounds.
"I'm delighted to get this role and I see this as a massive opportunity. I know Sligo well having played for Rovers in the past and it is a massive footballing town," said Russell.
"There is an opportunity to build on what has been done before. Sligo Rovers have developed so much over the last few years and built up a massive following for football in the county.
"I will look to help develop the young players in the area and especially will be looking into developing girls football, which is also a challenge."
Russell, whose sister Julie-Ann is an Irish women's international, did a lot of work for the Saints in the local community in addition to spending time in the club's commercial department.