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Dublin: 16 °C Wednesday 17 July, 2019

'Everyone in the LOI will be jealous' - Shamrock Rovers head off to India

The Hoops will play in a pre-season tournament over the next week.

Pat Fenlon Rovers manager Pat Fenlon speaking to the media yesterday. Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

SHAMROCK ROVERS DEPARTED Dublin for a pre-season trip with a difference this morning.

Pat Fenlon’s Hoops accepted an invitation to take part in the Sait Nagjee Cup in Kerala, India, between 5-21 February as a chance to prepare for the new SSE Airtricity League season, which begins on 4 March.

The Argentina U23s and reserve sides from Watford, 1860 Munich, Hertha Berlin and Atlético Paranaense are also competing in the eight-term tournament, which was inaugurated by Brazilian legend Ronaldinho.

“Nobody throws in India as a pre-season destination,” Fenlon told

“An agent threw the idea at me and just rang me one day and asked would we be interested in playing in the tournament, we were very interested.

“It had gone a few days then it was confirmed to us that we were invited to play.

“It is a chance to work with the squad in good conditions compared to dealing with the gale force winds out in the AUL most mornings.”

Dean Clark New Hoops striker Dean Clarke. Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

New signing Dean Clarke, who arrived last month from Limerick, is also looking forward to the challenge.

“Everyone in the LOI will be jealous,” said Clarke. “Everyone has said ‘what if they get sick’ and all that, but I’m not worried about that.

“Teams around the whole world go on trips like this. It is only a positive and I’m really happy to be going. Bit weird at first, had to take a step back then realise the positives of being there.”

He added: “People are saying we might be played off the park but I don’t think we will. We have played against English teams before and in my experience we have never been played off the park.

“It’s a game of football, and as they are mostly young players, hopefully the experience of the older lads will be an advantage for us. The conditions will be tough but hopefully we do well over there.”

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Ben Blake

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