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Dublin: 8 °C Friday 26 April, 2019

Rovers boss to discuss Graham Burke's availability with Martin O'Neill

The Republic of Ireland’s upcoming friendlies will be played during a hectic period for Shamrock Rovers.

Shamrock Rovers star Graham Burke.
Shamrock Rovers star Graham Burke.
Image: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

SHAMROCK ROVERS MANAGER Stephen Bradley has expressed his delight over Graham Burke’s international recognition.

However, the Hoops boss plans to speak to Martin O’Neill about the 24-year-old attacker’s availability for the Republic of Ireland’s three upcoming friendlies.

Burke was yesterday included in O’Neill’s squad for the games against Celtic in Glasgow on 20 May (Scott Brown’s testimonial), France in Paris on 28 May, and USA in Dublin on 2 June.

Bradley acknowledged that Burke’s call-up is good news for Shamrock Rovers and the League of Ireland as a whole, but it could potentially have a detrimental impact on his club.

“Obviously we are delighted for Graham who has been outstanding for the club since he joined us just over a year ago,” Bradley said. “He has shown that he can score goals from just about anywhere and he contributes so much to the team. It is great recognition for the player and for our league.”

The day before Scott Brown’s testimonial, the Hoops are due to travel to play Sligo Rovers (19 May) in the first of three Premier Division games in the space of seven days.

They then host St Patrick’s Athletic (22 May) before an away fixture with old rivals Bohemians (25 May). Bradley’s side welcome Dundalk to Tallaght on 1 June, 24 hours prior to the USA’s visit to the Aviva Stadium.

Bradley said: “We are in the middle of the second series of league games when the international games come around so I will be speaking with Martin [O'Neill] on how we can best accommodate each other and hopefully we see Graham wear the Ireland jersey soon enough.”

Shamrock Rovers are currently in fifth place in the top flight of the SSE Airtricity League ahead of tonight’s clash with in-form Waterford.

Burke, who returned to Ireland last season after spells with Aston Villa, Shrewsbury Town and Notts County, has scored nine league goals this term, a tally that has only been matched by Dundalk striker Patrick Hoban.

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Paul Dollery

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