Saturday 16 December 2017

Miele deal fits bill for Hoops

Shamrock Rovers striker Brandon Miele, pictured here in action against Bray Wanderers, has been rewarded with a new contract
Shamrock Rovers striker Brandon Miele, pictured here in action against Bray Wanderers, has been rewarded with a new contract

As the end of the League of Ireland season looms into view, dozens of footballers know that by the end of next month they will be out of contract and, possibly, on the dole.

So in an era of short-term contracts over a 40-week period, Shamrock Rovers have bucked the trend in the last 24 hours by agreeing a new deal with Brandon Miele, the exciting young Dubliner who has turned his career around in his time at the Hoops.

Miele, who underlined his value by scoring a late winner against Bray Wanderers earlier this week, is now starting to fulfil the potential he showed but failed to deliver in his time at Newcastle United, and Rovers are pleased to have the Tallaght lad signed up until the end of next season, a sign - Fenlon hopes - that the merry-go-round of players will stop.


"It's important that the younger players who do well are rewarded and that they stay at the club," Fenlon told The Herald.

"There has been too much chopping and changing here in the last while, we need to get a group of players who have a feeling for the club, have a sense of togetherness for the place.

"You go into a game where you look at the players in the other team and you say 'he played for Rovers, he played for Rovers too'. That shouldn't be the case but unfortunately with our league and the way contracts work, that's how it is, I don't want to have that big turnover of players every year."

The League of Ireland has already lost one exciting attacker recently, as Christopher Forrester left St Pats for Peterborough United. Miele's form - nine league goals for the Hoops - put his name back out there but Fenlon says there were no offers on the table.

"I don't know if there was a danger of losing Brandon, if there was, it was because he has been playing well," says the Rovers boss.

"You always have the danger of losing a young player who is in form, if you do lose them to a club across the water and you get some money for them, it's not the end of the world. Losing them to a rival club here is a bigger blow," says Fenlon, who brought Miele to Rovers following a spell in non-league football with Bluebell United after his Newcastle exit.

"I spoke to the people at Newcastle when we were signing Brandon and their frustration with him was not getting him on the pitch often enough, with injuries. They knew he had real ability but maybe they just ran out of patience with Brandon because of his injuries.

"Now he has a chance, he has had an injury-free season and he needs to build on that for next season. He's still a young boy who is learning the game. You hope that, if he can fulfil his potential, he won't be here at the end of it, he might get a move out of it." Rovers ended a run of four games without a win by beating - narrowly - Bray Wanderers on Tuesday night, to keep a nice distance between themselves and a fourth-placed St Pats. But if the aim is to catch Cork City for second place, a run of wins is needed, starting tonight at home to Galway United.

"We will have to get very close to five wins from five games, maybe four wins and a draw will do it, but it's very hard to do," added Fenlon.,

"We have to play Galway, Bray, Limerick and Drogheda, all of them fighting for their lives, we have to play Dundalk who are fighting to win the title, so getting a few wins won't be easy."

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