Hoops inching closer to 'B' team plan green light
THE FAI are due to hold further talks with Shamrock Rovers within the next two weeks to finalise the terms which would allow the club to enter a 'B' team into next season's League of Ireland First Division.
Three significant issues need to be ironed out before the project receives the green light.
Firstly, there is the question of whether an affiliation fee will be required by the FAI for a second Rovers side to enter the league.
Secondly, the thorny issue of how many players will be allowed to transfer from the first team to the second 11 on any given weekend will have to be resolved.
And thirdly comes the question of whether Rovers will still be required to field an U-19 team, which is a requirement to obtain a League license.
While these issues remain unresolved, a certain amount of doubt remains about the viability of the project. Still, both parties remain committed to the concept.
Richie Ryan's commitment to Rovers, though, is less clear. The talented midfielder will decide this week whether he wants to stay with the club or emigrate to Canada, where friends of his reside.
Should he go, it would represent the second major setback of the week for manager Trevor Croly, who lost out on his chief transfer target, Daryl Horgan.
The Cork City winger has agreed to join Dundalk, although the Louth club may have to pay €20,000 in compensation to the Leesiders.
Dundalk are also battling with Sligo and St Pat's for Mark Quigley, who will leave Rovers before the end of this month after a disappointing season in Tallaght.
Two other players to have left Rovers – Derek Foran and Conor Powell – are no closer to finalising deals with other clubs.
Foran has turned down the chance to move to Limerick, while Powell has rejected two approaches from unnamed clubs. St Pat's, the champions, may move for him as defensive cover.
Elsewhere, John Russell will be unveiled as a Sligo Rovers signing today and Derry City's Mark Griffin is on the lookout for a new club. So too is Dean Kelly, the Shelbourne striker, who is considering an offer from Bohemians. Cork City, meanwhile, re-signed John Dunleavy yesterday on a new one-year-deal.
"He is a top player," said manager John Caulfield, "who believes we are going to win trophies."