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Hoops search goes on as champs sign Serb

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Vinny Perth. Photo: Sportsfile

Vinny Perth. Photo: Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

Vinny Perth. Photo: Sportsfile

Shamrock Rovers remain in the hunt for a striker ahead of the season kick-off next weekend, but Dundalk have made a significant signing with the capture of Serbian midfielder Stefan Colovic.

Rival clubs like Cork City, Dundalk, St Patrick's Athletic and Waterford have made huge changes to their squads in the close season, with eight new signings each for Pat's and Waterford.

But Dundalk and Rovers had been quiet on the transfer market, just two new arrivals at Oriel Park before this week.

Dundalk made that three new faces with the capture of Cammy Smith, on loan from Dundee United.

And yesterday they had a fourth, thanks to the signing of midfielder Colovic. The 25-year-old was most recently playing for Proleter Novi Sad, sixth from bottom in the Serbian League.

Dundalk boss Vinny Perth had been tracking the midfielder for some time and his signing is a major coup for Dundalk as they prepare for another European campaign next summer, though Colovic may not be eligible to make his debut in Sunday's President's Cup final against Rovers.

Four senior players have left the Hoops since the end of last season (Oran Vojic and Ethan Boyle as well as Sean Boyd and Sam Bone, who had been out on loan).

But Liam Scales (UCD) and Rhys Marshall (Glenavon) are the only new arrivals as boss Stephen Bradley keeps up his search for a centre forward.

With Dan Carr's mid-season exit to Cyprus last season and the lack of impact made by loanee Graham Cummins, the Hoops are short of cover up front and Bradley is keen for new faces to compete with Aaron Greene and Graham Burke.

Will Longbottom, who was recently with Doncaster Rovers, played as a trialist for Rovers in a pre-season friendly last week but it remains to be seen if he will be offered terms.

The club say they have high hopes for defender Marhsall, signed from Glenavon.

"We have been looking at Rhys for some time, he's a very good player with a lot of experience already and he can only get better in our league. We're delighted to have him," said the Hoops' Director of Football Stephen McPhail.

Meanwhile, former Cherry Orchard and UCD man Maxime Kougon has become the latest export from the league as he's left Waterford FC for English non-league side Harrogate Town.

"He has done well over in Ireland, has good experience for a young man and seems very calm and assured," said manager Simon Weaver.