Match Preview: Rovers take on Shelbourne on Friday

The Bit O’ Red return to Dublin on Friday night to take on Shelbourne at Tolka Park. It will be the first of two games in three days in the capital as we face Shamrock Rovers away from home on Monday night.

Rovers come into the game unbeaten in our last three games following wins over Finn Harps and Drogheda United along with last Friday’s 1-1 draw with Shamrock Rovers at The Showgrounds.

Young attacker Cillian Heaney came on in the second half and was involved in the build up to Jordan Hamilton’s equaliser and manager Liam Buckley has praised the youth set up at the club:

‘’We have some terrific young talent here in The North-West. We have six teams here in our academy set up between the men’s and women’s side of it and it’s great to see such talent coming through to both senior teams. We have to be patient with all these guys, we can’t rush them into it. They’ll all continue to develop over time and it’s great when we can call on them and we see them doing well.

For a community owned club like ourselves, it’s important to produce our own and I feel like we have done that in recent years. In my own time we’ve had a high number of academy lads coming through and playing regularly for us, probably too many to mention, so that’s a great sign.

Buckley also reflects on the season so far and looks ahead to tomorrow’s game:

‘’We were pleased with the performance last week against Shamrock Rovers. We will look to give it a good go again tomorrow night and we know we have another test again just three days later. It’s a busy schedule and the squad will be important. We are in fourth spot at the moment and there is a long way to go. We have some great young players here and we’ve had to add new players this season as well so it’s still a matter of gelling all of that together and come the end of the season we’d like to be in a strong position.

Shelbourne beat us at home only five weeks ago. They did well on the night and we probably under-performed. It was disappointing from our point of view but in this league all games are so tight and tomorrow will be no different.

In team news, Garry Buckley is suspended after being sent off last week against Shamrock Rovers. Max Mata is closer to a return and could feature and there are no other injury concerns for The Bit O’ Red.

Away supporters can buy tickets here:

The game is live on LOI TV and Commentary is on Ocean FM