Shamrock Rovers can confirm the signing of Dean Carpenter and Darren Clarke to the first team squad. Yesterday the club confirmed Lee Grace as a new signing.
Dean, a full back, and Darren, a winger, have been training with the squad in July with both players earning themselves a contract with the club. Both come to the Hoops from Collinstown F.C.
Speaking about the signings Stephen Bradley said:
Dean Carpenter – “Dean’s one that I wanted to get this season from Collinstown. We had him in training with us for nearly five weeks. I think he’s a player that has shown some good potential and it’ll be interesting to see how he gets on between now and the end of the season. He’s fitted into the group really well. He’s a good defender, he knows the game. He understands the game and I think he’ll do well for us. I think he’s had a few offers over the last few years from the League of Ireland but he was setting up his own gym at the time and obviously turned it down. I think he feels the time is right now to give it a go. He can play left sided centre-back, he can play left-back and he can play wing back as well so he gives us options.”
Darren Clarke – “Darren is another one we see potential in but different to Dean in that he’s not ready to play for us right now. He can play off both feet, he’s very quick and direct. Darren can only benefit from being in training with us every day and hopefully as time goes on he’s ready to go and make an impact on the squad. But he’s one that we’re very much looking down the line with. We’re speaking to one or two clubs and hopefully a loan move can happen but if not, either way he’ll be here training and working away behind the scenes. I see a little bit of Trevor in him when he first came in, in terms of how direct and quick he is. Watching Darren throughout the year with Collinstown, he was a player that interested me every time I watched him, and I just thought I’d like to see him in our environment with our players, give him time to settle in and let’s see where it goes. He and Dean had a really good season at Collinstown, I just knew they’d proved themselves.”
Pictured below are (L-R) Lee Clarke, Dean Carpenter, Darren Clarke with Stephen Bradley & Stephen McPhail
Dean has always been viewed as one of the best full backs in the amateur game. The captain has been a vital cog in Collinstown’s success since he made his debut as a 17 year old. Dean was a stand out performer throughout their rise up the AUL ranks before making a move to the Leinster Senior League. He played in Collinstown’s win over Shamrock Rovers in the 2016 Leinster Senior Cup and also lifted the Leinster Junior Cup on two occasions. Dean started in the friendlies against Celtic and Burnley at Tallaght Stadium during the summer and the left-back impressed manager Stephen Bradley enough to earn a contract.
Darren played for the Shelbourne U19s in the 2012/13 season. He signed for Cabinteely in the 2015 First Division but made just 5 league appearances. He added a further 2 league appearances in 2016 before joining Collinstown in August of that year. In January, Darren was back at Shelbourne where he took part in their pre-season programme of matches. Along with teammate Dean Carpenter, the Clondalkin lad has been on trial at Shamrock Rovers over the last month and he featured in the friendlies with Celtic and Burnley. A very quick winger, like his younger brother Trevor, who has already made a huge impact at the club.