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Shamrock Rovers confirm support for decision over league return

Stephen Doyle
Stephen Doyle

15:33 30 Jun 2020

Shamrock Rovers have confirmed their support for the National League Executive Committee's chosen option to resume the SSE Airtricity League season.

The Premier Division and First Division clubs voted in favour of Option One of the four presented to them which will see clubs play an 18 match season, counting results of matches played before the league was shut down in March.

"The option chosen by the NLEC is one that Shamrock Rovers have supported and stood by," the club announced in a statement this afternoon.

"The club are satisfied with today’s outcome and will begin making preparations for hosting games at Tallaght Stadium."

The decision still has to be ratified by the FAI board but 31 July is the date set for the season to get back underway, which Shamrock Rovers boss Stephen Bradley is glad to see.

"I’m happy that we finally have a date, that we have something to work towards now and happy that we can get football back on," said Bradley.

"Everyone is fit; we have one or two little knocks, impact injuries but nothing serious. Everybody is training hard and looking forward to getting back.

"Now that we have a date it is great for the players because they are now training with an end in sight."

Shamrock Rovers are one of four clubs, including Dundalk, Bohemians and Derry City, who have qualified for Europe from last season and were allowed to start collective training on 8 June.

That quartet also underwent six rounds of testing for Covid-19 which produced no positive results.

The Hoops are top of the Premier Division table, ahead of champions Dundalk by three points, after five rounds of matches and their head coach is eager to get back to playing games again.

"We have been training like we would normally and the players have worked extremely hard," added Bradley.

"We obviously had to change how we approach training in things like making sure that sanitising and temperatures are right but other than that everything has been normal for us.

"We are ready to go, we’re training hard and we are delighted there’s been a date put out (for a restart). We are looking forward to it."

The Dublin club also has a second team in the First Division which lost two and drew one of the opening three matches and lies second from bottom in the table.

On the issue of whether supporters will be able to attend matches, the statement adds: "In the coming days, Shamrock Rovers hope to share more news with our fans detailing match fixtures and updates around fan access to games whether it will be possible to attend in person within Covid restrictions and/or through live match streaming options that may become available."

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NLEC National League Executive Committee Premier Division SSE Airtricity League Shamrock Rovers Stephen Bradley

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