Manager: Aidan Price.
Stadium: Tallaght Stadium.
Players in: N/A.
Players out: N/A.
Extratime.ie Key Man: Kian Clarke
18-year-old Kian Clarke is expected to play a key role in Shamrock Rovers II’ 2020 First Division campaign.
The former Bohemians under-17 keeper joined the Hoops in 2017, and he made his senior debut for the club in the 2018 Leinster Senior Cup against St Mochta’s.
The Dubliner has spent the last few years honing his talents in the National League underage set-up, and 2020 has the potential for Clarke to show how far he has come in just his first year of regular first-team football.
Extratime.ie One to Watch: Sinclair Armstrong
Sinclair Armstrong is described on the official Shamrock Rovers website as ‘an absolute monster of an athlete, he is strong, powerful and has an eye for goal’ – and it is difficult to disagree with that.
The 16-year-old played a pivotal role in the Hoops under-19 Enda McGuill Cup final win over Bohemians in November, and he certainly has the potential to take the First Division by storm.
The Irish underage international made his Hoops senior debut in August 2018 as the Hoops fell to a 1-0 defeat away to Drogheda United in the FAI Cup.
It is uncertain whether or not he will feature regularly for the Hoops second string in the First Division, but he will certainly be looking to be one of the benefactors of the opportunity to play senior football in the second-tier.
How they did last season:
FAI Cup: N/A
EA Sports Cup: N/A
What to expect this season:
Despite the backdrop of an open revolt amongst clubs in the First Division, Shamrock Rovers II are set to take their place in the second tier.
Of course, this will not be the first time a Hoops second string will play in the First Division, as they did previously in 2014.
The side will be managed by former Shamrock Rovers star Aidan Price, and it will be interesting to see how they fare in what will be many of their player’s first year of senior football.
With promotion to the Premier Division off the table given the presence of their first-team in the top-flight - one may suggest they will not be fighting it out at the top end of the table.
Development of players will be one of the main aims of this project rather than results, which may in fact play into the young Hoops advantage.
Price and co. will also have the added carrot being able to motivate players to produce high levels of performance to gain first-team recognition.
In truth, it is difficult to make any concrete prediction as to how 2020 may go for Rovers II – but going by the Shamrock Rovers B venture of 2014, they will certainly earn a scalp or two along the way.
Title Odds: 12/1.
First game: Longford Town (away).