Hoops conclude more pre-season business

By Stephen Leonard

SHAMROCK Rovers have completed some more business ahead of the start to the new SSE Airtricity Premier Division season with the signing of Joel Coustrain.

A former player with Sheffield United and Raith Rovers, the winger, who turns 22 next week, joins the Hoops from Limerick outfit Ballynanty Rovers.

Stephen Bradley l and Joel Coustrain r signing contract SRFC 16 01 18 webfinal

"I'm extremely happy to be here,” said Coustrain. “It's been a tough road the last few months, I was out of football after coming back from Raith Rovers. I tried to get as many games as possible under my belt (at junior level) so I would be ready if a team came in for me.

“I'm delighted to come back and hopefully hit the ground running. It was good to come in and get a pre-season game and it was a good display from the lads (against Corduff).

“Scotland was my first year in first team football. I thought I did well, I got offered a two year contract and I was a bit unlucky with a new manager coming in. He changed up the side and I got sidelined. I said I would go home and try a new start.

“It's a great set up here so I can't wait to get started. It's a young, energetic team and there's a few older lads with experience. I think everyone is raring to go for the league this year,” he added.

Pleased with his latest acquisition, Rovers manager Stephen Bradley said "I saw Joel play for Ireland at Tallaght a few years back and at that time I remember thinking that I liked the way he played.

“He was direct, he committed people and was really positive.  And he's quick.

“What he was like back then (for Ireland) is what he's been like since he's been in here. We're delighted to get him in, he's exactly what we need and the right fit for us,” he added.

Coustrain is the latest addition to the Tallaght side who have also been linked with a move for former Ireland international Joey O’Brien.

The 31-year-old defender previously played with Bolton Wanderers and West Ham United, but a succession of injuries has kept him out of the top level game for the past couple of years.

The club also reportedly fielded former Liverpool and Crumlin United youth Daniel Cleary in their 12-0 drubbing of Corduff in a pre-season friendly.

The Hoops, who face Cobh Ramblers on Saturday, have already landed some highly-rated new players in the likes of Ethan Boyle, Greg Bolger and Ally Gilchrist.

It has led to growing excitement ahead of a new league campaign that kicks off against Rovers’ arch rivals Bohemians in Dalymount Park on February 16.

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