2024 preview - Shamrock Rovers

11th February 2024

Previewing the reigning Champions for 2024

There was a stark moment on Friday night for the chasing pack in the SSE Airtricity Men’s Premier Division. 

3-0 up in the Men’s President’s Cup against a strong St. Patrick’s Athletic side and if you looked towards the Shamrock Rovers bench you saw Jack Byrne, Richie Towell, Aaron McEneff and Graham Burke all sitting this one out. 

Rovers haven’t settled for their lot in 2023 and are driving for an unprecendented and historic fifth title in a row which has never been done before. And they’ll be doing so with their strongest squad yet. 

With the new arrivals of Aaron McEneff, Darragh Burns and Josh Honohan as well as tieing down Jack Byrne and Rory Gaffney this should be a squad capable of reaching that feat and they’ll be targeting European group stages too. 

The ambitions are obviously high but with the chasing pack stronger than ever in a Derry City side featuring Patrick Hoban and a bolstered St. Patrick’s Athletic team, Stephen Bradley will know any slip up will be pounced on. 

Having featured in goal for the Champions at times last year, Leon Pohls is now being given his moment in the Tallaght sun and it will be important he starts the season strong for Rovers who were unusually vulnerable at times last year. 

It wasn’t that long ago that banners were unveiled in Tallaght against the record-breaking Manager but if Rovers can complete the drive for five, surely Stephen Bradley will become the greatest of them all. 

They had a slow start to the 2023 season and Bradley is keen not to repeat this. 

“We've given them a longer break than they've ever had. I think last year mental fatigue set in. We played the most amount of games in a short space of time and then only had three weeks off,” Bradley told reporters. 

“I felt that caught us at some points throughout last year. They're not a group to down tools or don't try but if you're reviewing yourself, I felt it was a mistake by me not to give them enough time off last year, so pre-season just gone we've given them seven weeks which is a long break. They haven't had that for some time, so they've come back fresh,” he added. 

This could be the best Shamrock Rovers we’ve seen yet. 

Finish last season - 1st
Manager - Stephen Bradley
Key player - Jack Byrne