Monday 19 March 2018

Green light for Hoops' second-tier side

Fran Gavin, the FAI Director of Competitions.
Fran Gavin, the FAI Director of Competitions.
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

SHAMROCK ROVERS have been given the green light by the FAI to enter a 'development team' in the First Division of the League of Ireland next season.

The historic move is set to be confirmed today when League chief Fran Gavin stages a press briefing in Abbotstown.

Rovers have held discussions with the FAI in recent weeks about the groundbreaking switch which will allow their back-up squad to become the eighth team in the second tier for 2014.

They will be permitted to move an agreed number of players between their senior team and the development group from week to week.

The Tallaght club primarily want to use the First Division side as an added attraction to snap up promising youths with a view to preparing them for a step up to Premier Division level.

However, they are also keen to utilise the second team -- which will be ineligible for promotion and will not compete in cup competitions -- to give game time to elder players who are on the fringes of Trevor Croly's squad or returning from injury.

Rovers will continue to field a team in the U-19 league. In the early phase of negotiations, they proposed dropping the U-19 side given the cost of fielding another team but that would have been in breach of licensing requirements.

The Premier Division fixtures for 2014 will be announced today, with the First Division list finalised in January. Rovers are intending to make Sunday afternoon the regular slot for their second team which means they could stage two games in Tallaght on certain weekends.

Meanwhile, Dundalk have agreed a compensation deal with Cork City for the protracted signing of Daryl Horgan.

The highly regarded 21-year-old was out of contract but City were entitled to compensation, as he is under the age of 23, once they offered him a deal on the same terms.

Dundalk were unwilling to pay the entirety of Horgan's salary for 2013 -- which they have to pay under the regulations -- and have struck an arrangement with the Leesiders to shell out a fee in the region of €10,000 up front with a clause that Cork will receive the balance of €7,000 if the Galwegian is sold on.

Elsewhere, former Derry City midfielder Stephen McLaughlin has suffered a knee injury that has cut short his loan spell at Bristol City from Nottingham Forest.

Millwall striker Andy Keogh has admitted that he is in limbo after the club refused loan offers for his services while making no move to extend his contract which expires at the end of the season.

Keogh has returned to the bench in recent weeks after falling out of favour with boss Steve Lomas.

Irish Independent

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