They do say that football is cyclical and six years on from when they last entered a second team into the SSE Airtricity League Shamrock Rovers are doing it again. They will be entering a reserve side into the First Division for this season which following the demise of Limerick FC will bring the number of teams up to 10.
They last played in 2014 and finished 6th in the League but the club then decided to pull the side but feel the timing is right to go again. This time they have opted for the more continental sounding Shamrock Rovers II as a name. Their entry into the First Division has not been welcomed by the other clubs who feel that they had no say in what was happening in their own division.
There are also questions as regards the movement of players between the first and second teams. One side monitoring the progress of Shamrock II are Dundalk. Their manager Vinny Perth has gone on record to say that the reigning champions would be interested in putting in a second team as both sides plan to put a stranglehold on the game in Ireland.
Speaking of emulating sides St. Patrick’s Athletic are going down the Dundalk route. They announced over the weekend that former Longford Town and Cork City manager Alan Mathews would be joining the club as the first team manager. Stephen O’Donnell will be staying at the club as the Head Coach but in reality, much like Vinny Perth at Dundalk he is the boss. It is a licensing issue in that O’Donnell needs to complete his UEFA Pro Licence and the club as such needs to have a qualified coach in the coaching staff.
Sligo Rovers have added to their ranks with the signing of Finnish defender Teemu Penninkangas. The 27-year-old defender has played his whole career in Finland where he had spells with FC Lahti, Inter Turku, Tampareen Ilves, SJK and Jazz. He won the league and the Cup during his time in Finland. One player who won’t be returning is Daryl Fordyce.
He has returned to Canada where he has signed with Valour FC in the Canadian Football League. Romeo Parkes has signed for USL side New Mexico United on loan for the 2020 season. It is hoped that his year in America will give him the residency he needs to qualify for a visa and he will then return to Sligo for 2021.