Tuesday 21 January 2020

Fenlon moves step closer to taking reins at Rovers

Pat Fenlon flew back from Spain to watch Shamrock Rovers against Bohemians in last night's EA Sports Cup clash, alongside long-time associates Larry Corbally and Dave Henderson, amid speculation he is set to take the Hoops reins. Photo: David Maher / SPORTSFILE
Pat Fenlon flew back from Spain to watch Shamrock Rovers against Bohemians in last night's EA Sports Cup clash, alongside long-time associates Larry Corbally and Dave Henderson, amid speculation he is set to take the Hoops reins. Photo: David Maher / SPORTSFILE

Garry Doyle

The deal to make Pat Fenlon the new Shamrock Rovers manager could be finalised within the next 24 hours.

Fenlon cut short his holiday in Spain to return to Dublin yesterday before attending last night's EA Sports Cup semi-final at Dalymount Park between Rovers and biggest rivals Bohemians, which the Hoops won 2-0.

Due to speak to Rovers today, Fenlon will accept the position if terms can be agreed. Linfield and Drogheda United sounded him out about their managerial vacancies, but failed to convince him that their club was the one for him.

Rovers, however, are in a position to offer Fenlon a two-and-a-half year deal as well as a decent budget which would allow them to challenge for honours.

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The Dubliner has topped the club's wish list from the moment Trevor Croly parted company with Rovers on Saturday. Having won five league titles with his previous clubs, Shelbourne and Bohemians, he has already become – at 45 – the second most successful manager in League of Ireland history.

Since Bohemians, he moved to Edinburgh and enjoyed two relatively successful years at Hibernians, who he took to back-to-back Scottish Cup finals.

After leaving Hibs last November, he openly stated his preference was to return to either Scotland or England.

However, no doors opened there and, now, after nine months out of work, the opportunity to return to management with the most high-profile club in the country is likely to prove too tempting to turn down.

Publicly, Rovers have kept quiet on whether Fenlon will fill their vacancy, but with negotiations set to intensify today, a deal could be finalised by tomorrow morning. Dave Henderson is in line to form part of his back-room staff, with Glenn Cronin and Colin Hawkins further possibilities to hold coaching roles.

Irish Independent

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