Wednesday 23 May 2018

Doolin in the frame at Rovers after the shock exit of Fenlon

Pat Fenlon. Pic: Sportsfile
Pat Fenlon. Pic: Sportsfile

Paul Doolin is the favourite to take over as Shamrock Rovers manager after the club's shock decision to axe Pat Fenlon yesterday.

Fenlon in charge at Rovers for just under two years, had taken the team's training session yesterday to prepare for Thursday's Europa League tie in Finland, the Hoops trailing 2-0 from the home leg, and he had expected to be in the dugout in Rovanemi on Thursday.

But after training the 47-year-old was summoned, by text message, to a meeting with club officials where he was told that his time at the club was up. Rovers later confirmed the decision in a statement,


"Shamrock Rovers Football Club wishes to announce that it has parted company with first-team manager Pat Fenlon with immediate effect. The Board of Directors would like to place on record their thanks for the dedication and commitment Pat has shown over the course of three seasons with the Club," the statement said.

Relations between Fenlon and the directors have been strained this season, Fenlon admitting in a recent interview that he hadn't spoken to the board "in months".

It's believed that his departure is not directly linked to the disappointing 2-0 loss to Finnish side RoPS last Thursday and his exit, before the end of this season, had been taking shape within the last number of weeks.

Fenlon was said to be frustrated with aspects of how the club was being run and the budgetary restrictions which affected his plans to build a squad capable of challenging for a league title.

The former Bohemians and Shelbourne boss had hoped to lure ex-Bohs keeper Brian Murphy, a free agent following his release by Portsmouth, back to Ireland, but the finance was not in place and Murphy is now expected to sign for champions Dundalk.

Rovers also missed out on a loan deal for Everton's Irish youngster Stephen Kinsella, now likely to join rivals St Patrick's Athletic until the end of the season.

The club have yet to make an announcement on a replacement but a partnership of ex-Rovers player Doolin - who left his post as Ireland U19 boss two months ago - and current staff member Shane Robinson is a strong possibility.

Rovers fly to Finland on Wednesday.

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