There were a couple of big moves during the week in the SSE Airtricity League. St. Patrick’s Athletic made the most eye-catching signing. The Super Saints have brought in midfielder Robbie Benson from Dundalk. He links up with his former team-mate Stephen O’Donnell. It’s a real statement of intent from O’Donnell as Benson was a key figure for Dundalk in recent seasons.
His last action for Dundalk was scoring in their 6-0 win last Monday over Linfield in the Unite the Union Champions Cup. Dundalk had prepared for his departure as they signed Greg Sloggett from Derry City. It is expected to be a busy transfer window in Oriel Park. As they look to cement their place as the top team in Ireland whilst also looking to push on in Europe.
They know as well that they will now come under heavy pressure from Shamrock Rovers, who are buoyed not only by their recent FAI Cup win but also news of a significant investment in the club. Their members agreed over the weekend to sell 25% of the club to billionaire Dermot Desmond for €2,000,000.
Desmond is also the biggest shareholder in Celtic fuelling speculation of a potential link up between the two sides. Shelbourne continues to gear up for life back in the Premier Division. They signed defender Daniel O’Reilly from Finn Harps. O’Reilly had just been voted Harps player of the season.
Longford Town and Drogheda United both added to their squads during the week as they look to challenge for automatic promotion next season. Longford signed Rob Manley from Cabinteely. A huge coup for the Midlanders as he just won the PFAI First Division player of the season.
Drogheda announced that their former player Derek Prendergast was returning to the club. He last played for the club in 2013 and was with Shelbourne last season with whom he won the First Division. In his last spell, he helped the club win the EA Sports Cup.
The last domestic game of the season was played on Saturday afternoon as St. Patrick’s Athletic took on Athlone Town in Richmond Park in the final of the Leinster Senior Cup. St. Pat’s put out a side made up of their U-17’s and U-19’s while for Athlone it was their first-team squad. It was St. Pat’s who won 4-0.
Kyle Robinson, Brandon Holt, Jake Walker, and Daniel Dobbin got their goals. It was the first win in five years in this competition for the Saints. For Athlone, it was scant reward for a side who had stayed training for nearly two months after their last competitive game. Unpaid as well.
2019 Roll of Honour
Premier Division – Dundalk
First Division – Shelbourne
FAI Cup – Shamrock Rovers
EA Sports Cup – Dundalk
President’s Cup – Dundalk
Unite the Union Champions Cup – Dundalk