Shamrock Rovers sign striker Orhan Vojic and keeper Leon Pohls

Fri, Feb 15 2019

Orhan Vojic pictured with Hoops boss Stephen Bradley. Credit: George Kelly/Shamrock Rovers

Shamrock Rovers have finalised their squad for 2019 with the addition of Bosnian striker Orhan Vojic and German goalkeeper Leon Pohls.

Vojic is a former Wolfsburg striker who has been a free agent since last summer, while Pohls was most recently on the books with English side Tadcaster Albion.

Both players have spent time on trial with the Hoops in pre-season with both starting, and Vojic scoring in, the 2-0 friendly win over Cabinteely two weeks ago.

22-year-old Vojic was born in Austria and came through the youth ranks with German side Wolfsburg, spending three seasons with the Bundesliga club.

Pohls, 21, came through the ranks with Eintracht Norderstedt before making the move to England with Tadcaster in 2017, and has since spent time with the i2i Academy.

He replaces Kevin Horgan, who has left the club to return to Galway United, while Gavin Bazunu has joined Manchester City earlier than anticipated.

“Orhan came about through contacts from Arsenal that I’ve been speaking to for a number of months about him,” said manager Stephen Bradley.

“Their advice was that if Orhan becomes available it’s one we need to seriously look at so we followed up.

“He’s totally different to what we have up front, it was one of the main reasons for signing him. He thinks differently about the game, about getting into the box and getting in behind defences.

“A lot of our attackers are good footballers and come off and play whereas Orhan thinks about the other side of the attacking game so it’s a good mix for us to have. And he’s hungry to score goals.

“I believe he’ll be a good addition to the squad. It didn’t really matter to us whether it was from Ireland, Germany, Austria or whatever, it was just about getting what fitted and who we needed.”

He added: “Leon was in goal for the opposition in one of our pre-season games (at Roadstone) and we really liked what we seen of him.

“He made some really good saves and his all round game was very good. We followed up after the game with the team he was with and they came back and said they could make him available.

“You’ll see his attributes; he’s really athletic and really big. He’s quick and he can play. He’s a great age and Jose (goalkeeping coach) will improve him like he’s done with all the keepers.

“We knew that Gavin Bazunu was going and Kevin Horgan was chomping at the bit to go to Galway United, he wants to be number one.

“He played a few games last year and got a taste of it so he wants more of it. That wasn’t going to happen here so we felt it was right to go and let him play.”

Vojic said: “I’m really happy to sign here. It’s a really great club with a lot of trophies. A good friend of mine, my agent, was asking me what I’d think about moving to Ireland and Shamrock Rovers.

“I hope to get clearance to play the first game in Waterford and hope to score a lot of goals, make a lot of assists and win trophies at Rovers.

“I have been told that the fans are already working on a good song about me because my nickname (Oki) is short! I look forward to playing as well as possible and being successful in Ireland.”

Pohls said: “I’m very happy to sign and I’m looking forward to the season. I hope I can have some appearances throughout the season as well.

“I got an offer from Rovers after we played against their youth team with my academy and the gaffer got in touch with me. That’s when I took the opportunity.

“It’s been a great experience so far training with Alan Mannus, he’s given me a lot of great advice. I feel like he can improve my game, he’s a very experienced goalkeeper so I’m looking forward to learning from him.

“I’m looking forward to Friday, the fans are really excited and the away tickets are sold out. The team looks ready and looks well on the training ground and I hope we can get a win at the start of the season. I feel like Ireland is a good place to live and the club is amazing.”