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Saturday 25 January 2020

'Head of steam' building against Rovers 'B' plan

Conor Coventry
Conor Coventry

Frustrated League of Ireland clubs are threatening to take "extreme measures" in protest at the admission of a Shamrock Rovers 'B' side into the First Division for the coming season.

The return of the Hoops second string as a senior side was ratified by the FAI board earlier this week and last night the season's fixture list was issued by the FAI. Shamrock Rovers II are away to Longford Town on the opening weekend.

But First Division clubs who opposed their entry into the league claim they have support from top-flight clubs and they say they will do all they can to prevent the Rovers 'B' side from being admitted.

"We are not relenting on this and the feeling is stronger than ever, the opposition to this is growing," Drogheda United chairman Conor Hoey said last night. "That's not just among the First Division teams but among Premier clubs. I see a head of steam building up on this. Clubs have very strong feelings on this and and I have no doubt there will be resistance." 

In a further blow to the league, it's been revealed that the main game of the first weekend of the Premier Division season, the Dublin derby between Bohemians and Rovers, will be moved from the traditional Fright night event to a 2.00pm kick off the following day, based on security advice from the Gardaí.

West Ham have agreed to send current Ireland U21 cap Conor Coventry out on loan to Lincoln City, where he links up with international team-mate Zack Elbouzedi. 

"What's most important now is what I can learn on the pitch as a player, and I'm looking forward to the test of playing senior competitive men's football every day," Coventry said.

Hearts have sent Westmeath native Aidan Keena to English non-league side Hartlepool United for a loan spell.

Derry City have pulled off a coup by agreeing a loan deal for Sheffield United's Irish youngster Stephen Mallon.

Sligo Rovers have drafted in Finnish defender Teemu Penninkangas on a one-year contract while Finn Harps have signed Adrian Delap on loan from Derry City.

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