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Shamrock Rovers snap up former Sheffield Utd and Ireland underage winger for 2018

‘He’s exactly what we need and the right fit for us.’

Joel Coustrain put pen to paper today.
Joel Coustrain put pen to paper today.

SHAMROCK ROVERS HAVE secured the signature of former Sheffield United midfielder Joel Coustrain ahead of the 2018 League of Ireland season.

The 21-year-old, who typically lines out as a winger, has represented Ireland at underage level through the ranks and has five international goals to his name.

Limerick native Coustrain began his senior career at Sheffield United, spending four years there and signing a professional contract before he made the move to Scottish Championship outfit Raith Rovers.

He parted ways with the club last March and had been playing junior football with Limerick side Ballynanty Rovers since.

Coustrain, who turns 22 next week, had been on Shamrock Rovers’ radar for some time and the club has confirmed that he featured during their pre-season friendly against Corduff at the weekend.

“I’m extremely happy to be here,” he told the club’s official website.

“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 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.

“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.

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“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.

Joel Coustrain with Terry Lartey Sanniez Coustrain in action for the Ireland U19s in 2014. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

“Not a lot of people know who I am so I’d like to show the fans what I can do. I feel like I could make an impact in this team and hopefully win trophies here.”

Hoops manager Stephen Bradley, whose first task in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division comes against Bohemians at Dalymount Park on 16 February, added:

“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. He’s always been in my mind since and come the end of last season he’s one that I looked back and thought – I’ll see how he’s getting on.

“What he was like back then 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. I don’t think there have been natural wingers here for a long time in terms of wingers that want to get at people, commit defenders and get crosses in the box. I think the fans will like him.

“He wants to prove that he’s a good player, you get that when you speak to him. It’s about him performing here now, bringing the qualities that drew us to him in the first place and impressing everyone.”

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