Dundalk vs Shamrock Rovers SSE Airtricity League Premier Division Oriel Park Friday, February 24th, 2017. 20:00
Shamrock Rovers kick off the 2017 league with an away trip to face the Champions, Dundalk, in Oriel Park on the opening day of the 2017 campaign. This one kicks off at 8pm and the game will also be broadcast live on eir Sport. Shamrock Rovers’ will be coming into this game in high spirits after enjoying a good pre-season which involved a pre-season camp in Spain which brought the squad together and, in the one match played over the 5 day camp, the Hoops had a 1-0 win against Gwanju FC from the Korean K League. Last campaign, the sides met a total of three times. Dundalk got the better of Rovers early on in the campaign as the away side came away with a 2-0 win at Tallaght Stadium. The next meeting then wasn’t until later on in the season as the sides contested at Oriel Park, this one ended 1-1. Gary Shaw (32’) put the Hoops ahead but then Shaw’s goal was cancelled out by a Gartland header later on (58’). The last meeting the two clubs had was on Friday 14th, of October. This was one to forget for Hoops as they lost the game 3-0.
Team news: For the opening day of 2017, Shamrock Rovers enjoy a clean bill of health. All squad players trained today and are fit and ready to play tomorrow.
Stephen Bradley; “Getting a win is massively important for us.”
Rovers head coach Stephen Bradley chatted to www.shamrockrovers.ie ahead of tomorrow’s opening day fixture with Dundalk. He spoke about the large crowd that will be following the Hoops up to Louth and also mentioned how important a win will be for Rovers. “I’m not surprised tickets sold out so quick,” Bradley began with, “I’ve always said the fans are excellent no matter where you go and tomorrow will be no different. Especially when you play away games you always get a good Rovers crowd and a big turnout of home fans too.” Bradley on getting a win; “We have to put in a good performance on the pitch for the fans and there are still some places up for grabs which is good. The competition within the squad is excellent and that is really what you want at Rovers. We’re a different side to what we were the last time we played Dundalk in Oriel Park, we’re going up there looking to get the win.”
“We know it’ll be a tough game as they are the champions and they are at home, but we want to win this game. A win will be massively important to us and will help us gauge where we are in comparison to Dundalk.” “Our two signings from last week, Graham [Burke] and Sam [Bone] have fit into the squad nicely, they have added to the competition in the squad. We’ve seen little bit of what Graham can offer to us the other day against Cliftonville, he has the makings of a very good player. He’s really skillful, can play with both feet which make him very dangerous, and he is still a young player so the future is bright for him.” Shamrock Rovers will enjoy a healthy away crowd in Dundalk as the club has sold out the full allocation of 570 tickets for the away end.