THERE have been clear-outs, new faces and a new team but everyone at Tallaght Stadium is just keen to get on with the season, so says newly formed Shamrock Rovers B team manager Colin Hawkins.
The man tasked with managing the 2nd team after a stint as assistant to 1st team manager, Trevor Croly, spoke of the task ahead but was just as keen to get going.
“We’ve got Cobh first up and it’s going to be tough. I was there not so long ago with the 19’s group I have and it was a tough game but that’s what you want.”
The new B team that has been created has raised some eyebrows around the league but Hawkins doesn’t see any reason for concern.
“I think people were just curious about the team rather than critical of it. There was a lot of misunderstanding about the team as people didn’t know what we could and couldn’t do.
I’d like to think we’re doing the right thing and also that other teams would follow our lead to create a better league.”
For the first team it’s been a case of adding in new faces and with Hawkins now with the second team a new assistant manager in John Gill.
Hawkins also was quick to dismiss the critics of the clear-out that Trevor Croly employed for the first team.
“There were an awful lot of players, who I think if they were being honest with themselves, could say they didn’t live up to expectation last year.
“We did well in the cups but our bread and butter is the league and so for us not to be challenging is not good enough.”
One of Shamrock Rovers new recruits, Conor Kenna, cemented Hawkins position when pushed.
“We’re all bedding in alright and to be fair the group looks sharp and ready to go as seen by the game last Monday.”
Rovers disposed of Glentoran in the Setanta Cup quarter final first leg 5-1 with marquee signing Stephen McPhail getting on the scoresheet. Kenna is looking forward to feeding off McPhail’s experience.
“He’s been here a week now and has done well which makes it easier for him to gel with the rest of the team.”