Ten points clear at the top of the table, it’s been a tremendous start to the League of Ireland campaign for Stephen Bradley and Shamrock Rovers.
A young and vibrant side, the Dubliners have won their last six league games and have only lost once all season as they look to snatch the domestic crown away from Dundalk.
One man who is clearly a fan of how the Hoops operate is former Irish international striker Kevin Doyle.
Doyle, who is now a pundit, got to experience Rovers’ quality first hand on Friday night as he covered their 3-1 victory over Cork City for RTÉ.
Speaking at the launch of the new Aviva Stadium Tour on Monday, Doyle outlined what he liked the most about their classy performance.
“From goalie to centre forward, I thought they were [excellent]. I’ve seen a good bit of Dundalk and they were excellent last season and they were very good the other night against Cork.
“It’s hard because Cork are not playing well. I’ve seen the highlights this season, but that was the first time I’ve seen them live. Their performance was as good as I’ve seen in the games I’ve gone to, all over the pitch, from start to finish.
“The goals were excellent. The second one was a bit of a deflection, but the build-up to it and the skill to get in the position to shoot.
“They were all really good. Jack Byrne was very good. We didn’t get around to it in studio but his pass took out half of the Cork team. It was a nice little blind pass.
“Then at the back, it was quiet during the game, Rovers were 3-1 up and we could hear everything, the back four were shouting, organising. Joey O’Brien is a really good addition there for his experience if he can stay fit but just listening to them talk and how they dealt with everything was really impressive.’
With the likes of Byrne, Aaron McEneff and Trevor Clarke, Stephen Bradley has developed a promising young team in Tallaght who are continuing to attract fans with their displays this season.
Doyle feels that how Rovers are playing as well as their infrastructure and level of support makes them the “model for the League of Ireland.”
“Going off that performance and their start so far, I think they’re about ten points ahead with two games in hand but still there’s the psychology of the ten points ahead.
“All round it’s been a rosy start. Things will dip a little but so far it’s been great. That’s the model for the League of Ireland. Good fresh, young players all playing football, doing it really well with a good stadium and a good crowd.
“They haven’t spent fortunes but they have a good budget. I would go and watch that every week. Everyone would want to go and watch that every week and be proud of their team seeing them play like that from start to finish. If they can play like that then fair dues to them.”
Irish football international Kevin Doyle today launched the new Aviva Stadium Tour which provides fans with a unique behind the scenes experience of Ireland’s primary international sports’ Stadium. Visitors to the new tour can delve into Ireland’s international sporting heritage while also experiencing first-hand what match day is like for our international football and rugby players.