Wednesday 24 January 2018

Rovers target financial boost as Indian jaunt prolonged by Munich draw

Cork City have announced the signing of Eoghan O'Connell on loan from Celtic until July (SPORTSFILE)
Cork City have announced the signing of Eoghan O'Connell on loan from Celtic until July (SPORTSFILE)
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

Shamrock Rovers are staying on in India and now have prize-money in their sights after qualifying for the semi-finals of the Sait Nagjee Invitational Tournament.

The Hoops will play the reserve side of Brazilian team Atletico Paranaense in tomorrow's semi-final after a scoreless draw between 1860 Munich and Dnipro ensured Pat Fenlon's charges made the knockout phase.

They will collect a minimum of $15k if they can book a ticket to the final, with $30k on offer to the winners of the tournament. Victory over an experimental Argentina U-23 select on Sunday proved crucial for the Dubliners.

Back at home, Cork City have announced the signing of Eoghan O'Connell on loan from Celtic until July. O'Connell, who is a cousin of rugby great Paul O'Connell, has first team experience with the SPL side and went on loan to Oldham earlier this season before suffering an injury.


John Caulfield is pleased by the addition of the versatile 20-year-old.

"We are thrilled to get Eoghan. He can play right across the back four and as a defensive midfielder, so it gives us a lot of options," he said. "We were looking to bring in another defensive player and it is something we have been working very hard on for the last while."

The FAI yesterday announced that all Premier Division clubs have received their licence successfully for the 2016 campaign, with four First Division sides - Athlone, Limerick, Waterford and Drogheda - also meeting top-flight criteria.

Concerns had been expressed about League of Ireland champions Dundalk because of a dispute with former owner Gerry Matthews regarding the lease for Oriel Park but they were always confident they would get the nod.

Premier Division newcomers Finn Harps also had to work on renovations at their Ballybofey home to pass the test, although they have been given a derogation under a couple of headings because they are in the process of trying to accelerate a move to their new stadium. It's understood that Athlone had to resolve financial issues before getting approval.

Tributes have been paid to former Cork City player Paul Bannon after he sadly passed away at the age of 59.

Bannon, a Dubliner, scored the goal which pushed the Leesiders towards a maiden league win in 1993 after a three-way play-off with Bohs and Shels. That capped a career which included stints in England, Holland and Greece.

He went on to work for the FAI and FAS in underage development in the Cork region.

"He worked with the likes of Liam Miller, Colin Healy, Damien Delaney and played a part in their development," said former team-mate Mick Conroy.

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