Local League of Ireland Clubs Wasting no time

Shels sign Dobbs in busy off season for Dublin clubs

The 2019 season was effectively a successful one for the Dublin based League of Ireland teams.

Despite Dundalk taking the ultimate accolade, a league of consistent results left both Shamrock Rovers and Bohemians  content with their year’s work. 

Despite running short in the league, Stephen Bradley’s Rovers grind will still be considered a success. A Jack Byrne inspired outfit wrapped up a solid season for the hoops as they toppled Dundalk to claim the FAI Cup following a titanic battle which was decided on penalties. 

Bohemians will be over the moon with their performance. Written off by so many and working with a shoestring budget, the Phibsboro side secured European football with a third place finish. Bohs, a youthful team, were marshalled by the highly regarded Keith Long. 

For St Pats, missing  out on a top four finish means they will be disappointed with their run, albeit the four teams above them were all quality outfits worthy of their position in the table. For UCD, it was a year to forget for the students as they find themselves back in the first division having finished the season with a scarce 19 points. 

In the first division, Cabinteely will have to be relatively content with their best ever fourth place finish, finishing within just one point off runners-up. Shelbourne who topped the league comfortably in the end, will be delighted with their display – eager to return to the top flight following an absent spell dating way back to 2013. 

None of the teams are seen to be wasting any time in the off season, with many new signings announced already. The big news coming from Tallaght Stadium is the signing of  highly rated Ireland U21 defender Liam Scales from UCD.

St. Pats have been busy, adding experienced players like Waterford FC’s Rory Feely and Dundalk’s Robbie Benson to their squad. Whilst in Dalymount park, the signing of ex Wolves player Anto Breslin, who was recently voted onto the PFAI Team of the Year following an impressive spell at Longford town, was just recently announced by the club. 

Shelbourne have been the busiest of the Dublin clubs. The newly promoted side are adding strength in depth to their squad with some quality signings already announced. Georgie Poynton and Daniel O’ Reilly have put pen to paper for Shels, coming from Waterford FC and Finn Harps respectively. In Karl Sheppard, Ian Morris has added a striker to his ranks with a wealth of experience, having enjoyed a successful career at clubs like Reading, Accrington Stanley, Shamrock Rovers and most recently Cork City. 

Prior to these signings by Shelbourne, Aaron Dobbs was the first to be announced. The attacker who hails from Enniscorthy in Wexford penned a two-year deal with the club back in October, joining from first division side Longford Town. Dobbs, who previously broke into the Shamrock Rovers first-team as a 16-year-old, has been capped at international level for Irish underage sides and brings with him an exciting résumé to Tolka Park, for a lad of just 20 years of age. 

Speaking of his move, Dobbs said: “ I’m just really looking forward to getting in with the lads and hopefully we can have a successful year. It’s great to be in the premier division with a big club with high ambitions.” 

In regards to the training schedule of a premier club, Aaron’s settling in well. “We train four times a week which is great, i’ve no doubt we’ll hit the ground running come February.”

Dobbs will be looking to emulate recent form which saw him feature regularly with the Irish U19 team in 2018 under Tom Mohan. In terms of goals for the season, he said: “ As a team, we’re ambitious and we feel we can put it up to any team in the league.”

Dobbs says he sees next season as a “redemption year”, and hopes to “play consistently and contribute with goals” as frequently as possible.

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