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The application for 'Shamrock Rovers II' to enter a team in the second tier has caused consternation but Roche says the club did everything by the book and sees no reason why they should be knocked back when licences are released later this week (stock photo)

The application for 'Shamrock Rovers II' to enter a team in the second tier has caused consternation but Roche says the club did everything by the book and sees no reason why they should be knocked back when licences are released later this week (stock photo)

The application for 'Shamrock Rovers II' to enter a team in the second tier has caused consternation but Roche says the club did everything by the book and sees no reason why they should be knocked back when licences are released later this week (stock photo)

Shamrock Rovers chairman Jonathan Roche expects the club to be given permission to field a side in the First Division despite talk of protest and even boycotts from their prospective opponents.

The application for 'Shamrock Rovers II' to enter a team in the second tier has caused consternation but Roche says the club did everything by the book and sees no reason why they should be knocked back when licences are released later this week.

That process has been clouded by Limerick FC winning the right to apply, thus meaning 11 clubs could conceivably get the go-ahead. Two fixture lists have been created to cope with that eventuality.

In every scenario, Rovers will not be backing down on their determination to participate with Roche suggesting it will cost them in the region of €100,000.

"I don't think we'll harm the First Division at all," says Roche, who isn't expecting a reversal of the original FAI decision to let them play.

"This is about player development. I don't think it gives Shamrock Rovers a competitive advantage. It definitely doesn't give us a financial advantage.

"Where it does give us an advantage is in player development. It's not highly unusual in European football. Clubs are entitled to their opinions but we've had really good feedback as well, especially from players and managers, who think it's a good thing.

"We applied October 16 and sent in a letter before any of the other stuff around it regarding other clubs having issues. We haven't bent the rules or anything like that.

"I think the new FAI, if that's what we're calling it, focuses on player development and this fits right in with developing players. It's not a mad thing.

"Obviously it needs to be worked out because you don't want anyone boycotting games or anything like that. I'm not going to tell someone what they should think and we've said very little. We are just planning for the season for all our players, from Jack Byrne down to our U-10s."

Irish Independent