Reports: Former Irish International Could Be Set To Join Shamrock Rovers

Reports: Former Irish International Could Be Set To Join Shamrock Rovers

Having played Premier League football with Bolton Wanderers and West Ham United, capped 5 times for Ireland; Joey O'Brien looks set to return to competitive football 18-months after leaving the Hammers.

According to reports in The Irish Sun, O'Brien is set to become a high-profile signing for League of Ireland side, Shamrock Rovers.

Still only 31-years-old, O'Brien's professional career has coincided with numerous issues with injury. Yet, should he be able to prove his fitness to Stephen Bradley, O'Brien looks set to join last year's third-placed Rovers.

Having initially made his mark in 2004/05 in League One while on loan with Sheffield Wednesday, a Premier League breakthrough with Sam Allardyce's Bolton the following season coincided with O'Brien's first international appearance.

In what was Steve Staunton's first game in charge of the Irish side, O'Brien's international career halted somewhat when Giovanni Trapattoni was hired after Staunton's disastrous era. He would make a brief return to the squad when Martin O'Neill was appointed in 2013.

With the League of Ireland becoming dominated in recent years by both Dundalk and last year's double-winning Cork City, O'Brien's arrival would undoubtedly give Shamrock Rovers some hope that they can bridge the gap.

The best of the rest last season, their third-placed finish did not do justice to the fifteen-point margin that separated them from second-placed Dundalk; let alone the twenty-two points between Rovers and the champions, Cork.


Having not won the League of Ireland since Michael O'Neill led Rovers to the title in 2011, there will be a massive hunger in Tallaght to see some real progress this season.

Should he be able to prove his fitness and join the club, O'Brien's experience - both international and Premier League - will undoubtedly signify a huge stride forward for the club.

Of course, if it doesn't work out, he could always try his hand at GAA again.

See Also: Breaking: Martin O'Neill Back In Picture For Stoke City Job

Arthur James O'Dea

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