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Hoops bolster squad ahead of Europa League qualifiers with capture of Watts and Greene

Shamrock Rovers have confirmed the signings of Dylan Watts and Aaron Greene.

Hoops head coach Stephen Bradley alongside Aaron Greene and Dylan Watts.
Hoops head coach Stephen Bradley alongside Aaron Greene and Dylan Watts.

SHAMROCK ROVERS HAVE bolstered their squad with the acquisition of both Aaron Greene and Dylan Watts, as the Hoops prepare for their Europa League qualifiers next week.

Former Leicester City midfielder Watts had been heavily linked with a move to league leaders Dundalk, however the Hoops have secured the services of the in-demand 21-year-old.

Striker Greene spent the first half of 2018 at the Carlisle Grounds, but becomes just one of a number of Bray Wanderers players to depart the Wicklow club after the Seagulls announced they would be accepting bids for all of their players.

For me, Aaron at Bray the last couple of years has been one of the best players in the league,”  Rovers boss Stephen Bradley said on Saturday.

“He’s dangerous from anywhere on the pitch and he scores goals. Aaron had a lot of interest from clubs in this country. He could have went anywhere really and we’re delighted that he’s picked us.

Aaron Greene celebrates scoring their first goal Greene spent one and a half seasons at Bray Wanderers. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

“I believe he adds a massive amount of pace and power to us in the attacking third of the pitch and that’s maybe something that we’ve been lacking. We’ve been after Aaron for a long time. We did make an offer for him last year and it was declined so we’re delighted to get him now.”

On Watts, who made 19 appearances for Bohemians in the first half of the season after returning to Ireland, Bradley said he was getting a complete midfielder who would now continue his development at Tallaght Stadium.

Dylan obviously had a lot of interest from clubs here and away so we’re delighted he’s seen his future here, the next part of his career and development at this club,” he said.

“I think it’s a very mature decision from someone very young. He could have been persuaded by things elsewhere but he’s seen what’s happening here and what we’re doing and wants to be part of that.

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“We’ve always liked Dylan, from the time he went from UCD and when he came back. He can do everything in midfield – he can start the game, play at the top of the game and score goals.

Dylan Watts Watts spent the first half of the season at Dalymount Park. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Bradley added: “He’s not an out and out number 10 or a sitter in midfield, he can play any position. His ability gives a different dimension to us. We were keen on him even before the Bohs game.

He showcased it that night but we were well aware of him and knew the situation with Leicester and monitored it really closely. When we knew it was something we could do we went all out to get him.”

Rovers currently sit fourth in the Premier Division, holding champions Cork City to a 0-0 draw at Turners Cross last night following a penalty save from 16-year-old goalkeeper Gavin Bazuna.

The additions of Greene and Watts will aid the club as they prepare to take on Swedish side AIK in the first leg of their Europa League first round tie on Thursday night in Dublin.

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