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Dublin: 11°C Thursday 6 May 2021
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Shamrock Rovers sign ex-Burnley midfielder McCann and Dundalk defender Hoare

The Premier Division champions have added to their squad for 2021.

Chris McCann spent eight years with Burnley.
Chris McCann spent eight years with Burnley.
Image: EMPICS Sport

SHAMROCK ROVERS HAVE announced a double signing this afternoon. 

The Hoops, who ended a nine-year wait to be crowned SSE Airtricity League Premier Division champions in 2020, haven’t wasted any time in recruiting for next season. 

They have agreed a deal for vastly-experienced Dubliner Chris McCann. 

The 33-year-old spent eight years with Burnley and three more at Wigan Athletic before heading to the US. There, he lined out for Atlanta United and DC United — winning the MLS Cup in 2018 with the former — and was last on the books at Oldham Athletic.

“You just have to look at Chris’ pedigree, where he’s played and the level he’s played at,” said Rovers boss Stephen Bradley. “He just recently won the MLS so he’s played at a really high level. He’s a player that we feel improves us. He has a lot of really good attributes and he’s one that once he became available, we were really keen to get done. He’s a player that improves us as a team and as a squad and makes us better.

“He had a lot of interest in England and he had a lot of offers but his family are life-long Shamrock Rovers fans. He’s been to games when he’s come home from England and when he was younger. He’s watched us play the last 12 months or so and really liked how we play. Once we spoke to him, he knew a lot about us to be fair to him. It was just about getting it moving and thankfully we were able to get it done.

You have to be careful when you’re looking at players from abroad, especially ones who have had good careers like Chris. But when you speak to people to who know him, people who have coached and managed him, you get a real sense of what he’s about. And then when you speak to him it only takes you a few minutes to see that he’s a proper man and wants to do it right.

“He’s played in a number of positions. In the MLS he played left wing-back, he’s played left-back, centre-half and in midfield so I think that shows his quality. He’s game intelligent and has so many attributes that fit what we do and he brings a lot of experience, know-how and quality so I’m delighted.

“He’s that experienced professional who has played at a really high level in his career and he’ll bring that with him to us. That can only be a positive.”

The second player coming in is defender Sean Hoare from rivals Dundalk. 

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26-year-old Hoare began his senior career at St Patrick’s Athletic and moved to the Lilywhites in 2017. He has won three Premier Division titles, three FAI Cups and a number of other domestic trophies, while he is also experienced in European competitions. 

“Sean fits everything we do,” adds Bradley. “We tried to sign Sean a few years back and we didn’t get him but we’ve always liked him. He fits our type of profile for a defender and he’s very versatile.

“He’s a good age as well so he’s one we’ve liked for quite some time. He’s played in the league a long time and obviously been very successful. He’s played in Europe and knows what the league’s about. Everything about him suits the type of player we bring in. He’s only 26 but he has a lot experience.

“We’ve seen over the years in the league that he’s very good in both boxes at set plays. He’s very good defensively and attacking so he strengthens us in that department as well. There’s so many attributes and areas that we liked about his game, there’s many reasons we wanted him and that was just one of them.

It’s important as a group that we keep improving. We have the best defensive record, our defenders have been excellent but we have to keep improving in everything we do – on and off the pitch.

“Sean represents a chance to do that so once he became available it was a no-brainer. I’m delighted that when we sat down with him and spoke about what we’re doing and how we do things, he was very positive about coming.”

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Ben Blake

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