Updated Nov 7th 2017, 4:19 PM
JUST A DAY after celebrating double success with the thousands who took to the streets on Leeside, midfielder Greg Bolger has left Cork City to join Shamrock Rovers.
The 29-year-old Wexford man was a nominee for Player of the Year last term, but was resigned to the bench for much of this year’s historic campaign, making just 25 appearances across all competitions.
The former Ireland U23 international joined City from Saint Patrick’s Athletic in January of 2016, winning two FAI Cups and one league championship in his two years down south.
Though initially linked with Waterford, it was this evening confirmed that Bolger has signed for Stephen Bradley’s Rovers.
“I think he’s one of the top players in the league and has been for a number of years,” said Rovers boss Bradley. “He brings vital experience to us and he understands what it takes to win in this country.
“He dictates games, he’ll get us playing and create a tempo for us. So he’s a great signing. I know that a number of other teams wanted his signature so we’re just delighted that he sees his football here next year.
“We spoke to people that have worked with him and all reports have been really good. He works hard, he’s a team player and goes about his business in the right way. We wanted to see what sort of character and personality he was. It’s a big thing for us when we sign players, it has been from day one and it was no different with Greg. So it was a no-brainer for us.
He’s a player that any time we’ve watched Cork or played against them, he’s hurt us, and when you come up against players like that you need to try and get them in your ranks and thankfully we have.
Speaking of his move back to the capital, Bolger himself said:
“I’m delighted to sign here. I’ve been speaking to the two Stephens [Bradley and McPhail] in the last few weeks and it’s good to get it done early. I’m looking forward to next year, buying into what the lads are trying to do here and help the team progress.
“I haven’t come here to be mid-table. Rovers are a big club, I’m here to win titles and that’s what the aim is next year. Talking to Stephen Bradley and what his plans are for next year, I’m delighted to be a part of that.
“I think we have a good chance. The players here are top players and I think Stephen is adding one or two more so it’s exciting times.
Stephen told me about the development from schoolboy up, that’s only going to benefit the first team and the club in years to come. These players will progress in their career and get better with good coaching from the likes of Aidan Price and Damien Duff. I’m a bit jealous that I didn’t get that when I was younger. So it’s great to see.
“I was really impressed with Aaron Bolger when Rovers beat Cork in the league this season, he was the best player on the pitch. I’m looking forward to playing with him, he’s a great prospect and hopefully he can develop and get even better. I played with Ronan Finn when we won the First Division together at UCD. I had great times playing with Ronan, he’s a top player so another motivation of coming here is playing with the likes of him. I think he knows my game and I know his game so hopefully we get a good camaraderie and do the business on the pitch.
“The words Shamrock Rovers speaks for itself. It’s one of, if not the biggest club in the country and there’s the brand of football that Stephen is trying to play. I’ve played against Stephen in the league as well, I know the way he operates. He wants the game played the right way and I’d probably be of the same opinion as him. That’s what I’m looking forward to most, getting out there and playing football. It’s a new start here at Rovers.”
Bolger confirmed earlier this afternoon that he was to depart City, less than 24 hours after celebrating the club’s first ever double – and the first achieved by any Cork club since 1951.
“After a lot of thought I have decided my time at cork city has come to an end,” he wrote in a note posted to Twitter.
I would just like to say a big thank you to the people of cork for their support over the last two years. It has been a pleasure to play in front of ye all at the cross.
“A league and two cups (not bad eh). Also want to wish the lads the best of luck for the future, best dressing room I’ve ever been involved in.
“Thanks for the memories.”
Thanks Cork City 💚 pic.twitter.com/37yTD1bpJi— Greg Bolger (@Greggyb6) November 7, 2017
As alluded to by Bolger, Rovers are expected to complete their re-signings and add a couple more new faces in the coming weeks.
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