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'He's hilarious. I haven't got a clue what he's saying to me' - Clarke shines on Rotherham debut

The former Shamrock Rovers man played a pivotal role for his new club in last night’s EFL Trophy win.

Trevor Clarke playing for Shamrock Rovers earlier this year.
Trevor Clarke playing for Shamrock Rovers earlier this year.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

KIERAN SADLIER MAINTAINED his good form by scoring a stunning goal for Doncaster Rovers in their EFL Trophy meeting with Rotherham United.

However, the contribution of another former League of Ireland star was ultimately pivotal in deciding the outcome of last night’s South Yorkshire derby.

Sadlier, who joined Doncaster from Cork City in January, produced a superb strike in the 37th minute to leave the sides level at 1-1 at the interval.

It was a fourth goal of the season for the 25-year-old attacker, who was named in a provisional Ireland senior squad for last month’s games against Switzerland and Bulgaria.

Joe Wright put Doncaster ahead early in the second half, but Rotherham — aided significantly by the half-time introduction of Trevor Clarke — mounted a successful comeback.

Clarke was making a belated debut for the League One club, who he joined from Shamrock Rovers in July. On the day the transfer was announced, the 21-year-old Dubliner sustained a knee injury in an U23 game that kept him out of action until last night.

Nevertheless, he was quick to make an impression on his first-team debut. After his clever through-ball set up Carlton Morris to equalise, Clarke won a penalty when he was fouled in the box by former Finn Harps defender Shane Blaney.

Morris saw his effort saved by Dubliner Ian Lawlor, but Clarke later ensured that the squandered opportunity didn’t prove costly. On 77 minutes, he was played in by Morris down the left before unleashing a clinical finish to the far corner to seal a 3-2 win.

Source: Rotherham United Football Club/YouTube

Rotherham United boss Paul Warne expressed his delight with the debut of ‘Tricky Trev’ when he spoke to reporters afterwards: “It wasn’t bad, was it? I mean, in the first five minutes he was in a bit of a whirlwind. I think he was trying to catch his lungs on the way back.

“We signed him as a left-back who can bomb on, and he’s another option to possibly play out wide, but he’s definitely game. The lads love him in the dressing room. He’s hilarious. I haven’t got a clue what he’s saying to me but I always laugh. He’s just a really infectious kid, a really nice lad.

“Unfortunately in the first game he played here he did his knee and he’s been out for a period of time. He’s only been training with the squad for three or four days, so to have that amount of impact… that is some 45 minutes. I doubt he’ll sleep tonight.” 

Clarke, who was on the books at Middlesbrough as a teenager, made 103 appearances for Shamrock Rovers after joining the club in 2015. He was named PFAI Young Player of the Year in 2017 and was involved with the Republic of Ireland U21 squad earlier this year.

He now looks likely to be in contention for a league debut for Rotherham in Saturday’s game away to Blackpool.

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Paul Dollery

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