Re-start Club Preview: Shamrock Rovers II (First Division)

Tue, Jul 28 2020

Rovers II manager Aidan Price Credit: Eddie Lennon (ETPhotos)

Club: Shamrock Rovers

Manager: Aidan Price

Highest league goalscorer: Brandon Kavanagh (one goal)

Current position: 9th

How we thought they would do for the 2020 season

With the focus very much on youth for Rovers’ second team, the expectation is that Aidan Price’s boys/men will be doing very well to finish in the top half of First Division table.

Price has a 47 player squad to call on, mostly made up of the club’s under-17 and under-19 players but bolstered by players from Stephen Bradley’s senior squad including Brandon Kavanagh, Thomas Oluwa and Dean Williams.

How they did in the opening part of the season

They have just one point from the opening three games but are unlucky not to have four. They began with a 2-0 loss away to Longford Town but against Galway United they led on 86 minutes thanks to a Brandon Kavanagh freekick before conceding a late equaliser. Their final game before the COVID-19 inforced break was in Stradbrook where Cabinteely’s Shane Barnes headed home a very late winner for Cabo in the 91st minute.

Moment of the season so far

There has been much controversy about the inclusion of a second Rovers side in the League of Ireland. In their first game of the season Longford Town published their match day programme with no reference to Shamrock Rovers. 

The second game of the seaons is probably the standout moment simply because of the awful weather conditions in Tallaght. The Hoops side 1-1 draw with Galway United was overshadowed by the weather conditions which saw a number of players affected by hypothermia and one brought to hospital due to a concern over frostbite.

Stand out player so far this season

Rovers have Sean Brennan on loan from Southampton and the player who turned 19 earlier this month has brought valuable experience into Rovers midfield having played with Longford Town last season. He has looked good in the three game played with the Hoops to date.

What they need to do in the restart

A confidence boosting first win would be a good start to the restart for Rovers. However, it is mainly about player development for Rovers as Aidan Price explained to extratime.com after their third game of the season. 

“Our main aim is to see how many players we can get ready for the first team in an environment where they are going to be tested in other ways that they wouldn’t be tested in a 17s or 19s match,” said Price who named a starting XI against Cabinteely with one 20 year old and ten teenagers (two 16-year-olds, three 17-year-olds, four 18-years olds and one 19-year-old player).

Where we see them finishing

8th

Who will they face in the FAI Cup?

Rovers second team do not participate in the FAI Cup

First post-lockdown league fixture

Drogheda United at Tallaght Stadium on Sunday 2 August (kick off 3pm)