Shamrock Rovers captain Ronan Finn states he doesn’t understand exactly what to expect from Dundalk this season but still anticipates the FAI Cup winners to be challenging the Hoops for honours on all fronts.

Talking to the media at the announcement of SSE Airtricity’s renewal of the sponsorship of the League of Ireland for the next two seasons last week, Finn was inquired about who the most significant risk to Rovers would be this season.

While he said it was tough to judge Dundalk this season given he was not acquainted with a number of their finalizings to date – Albanian goalkeeper Alessio Abibi, Faroese centre half Sonni Nattestad, Latvian complete back Raivis Jurkovskis and Norwegian striker Ole Erik Midtskogen – the previous Lilywhite star said he totally anticipated Filippo Giovagnoli’s side to be there or thereabouts when it concerned the leading honours.

” It’s a hard one to judge since Dundalk are recruiting externally outside the league so you don’t understand what they’ll be like,” stated Finn.

” It’s perhaps difficult to evaluate the calibre of player. I’m sure they believe done their research and are signing truly excellent footballers so you ‘d anticipate them to be challenging on all fronts also.

” St Pat’s I think have been developing over the last number of years and certainly they’ll be pressing and will desire to challenge for honours. Then Bohemians will exist once again.

” Like I stated over years and years, in this league if you do not appreciate your opponents then you’ll get turned over. We truly regard everyone. We do the exact same amount of research for Milan as Finn Harps. That’s the level of detail that the manager goes to and when you let them requirements slip he informs you.”

The 33-year-old admitted last December’s 4-2 FAI Cup last defeat to Dundalk at the Aviva Stadium was a genuine blow however stated it would be the driving force for Rovers when they returned to pre-season training this week.

” The possibility to do a double was on the cards and we frantically, frantically desired it,” stated Finn.

” We had actually gone the season unbeaten and had actually been playing some really great football however we never for a 2nd ignored Dundalk since they’ve been there for years and are a talented, gifted group. So for us it was an actually difficult one to take.

” On reflection, we most likely didn’t play our best game however we played quite well and sometimes football just doesn’t exercise the method you desire it to. It was a blow, a real blow. Doubles are really hard to come by but that gives us the objective for this year. That needs to be the strategy, to go and try to attain success – league titles, cups – it’s all part of what is on the menu for the football club. It wasn’t an easy one but that’s the charm of football, you go once again and that’s the target.”

In addition to Daniel Mandroiu and Chris McCann, Rovers have actually included previous Dundalk stars Sean Hoare and Sean Gannon to their ranks for the 2021 season and Finn is delighted with business brought out so far by manager Stephen Bradley.

” Sean Hoare and Sean Gannon have actually been serial winners with Dundalk so I think the recruitment has been great.

” We’ve got to a phase within the group where you do not need to sign eight, 9 or 10 gamers because the group is strong however it constantly requires improving and I think that’s what the supervisor has actually done.”

Indeed, Finn admitted to playing a part in convincing Sean Gannon to return to Tallaght Stadium after seven seasons at Dundalk despite the possibility he might supply direct competition for him personally, offered he occupied the right wing back berth throughout last season.

“I talked to Sean. He’s somebody I ‘d have been really close to throughout the years. I played with Sean ten years back and always got on terrific with him and again at Dundalk he was someone I travelled up and down withs so we naturally always had an excellent relationship.

“The chance to get Sean into the football club on the back of Rhys (Marshall) leaving was such a coup for the club since he has actually been such a stand out player in the league. I played with Sean for many years so you understand what you’re getting and the quality that he has.

“Then, from my own point of view, not always (is he pertaining to take my location). Naturally you want to play every video game. When it comes down to it, is he my direct competitors? I don’t understand. Perhaps he is however I’ve played a great deal of my career in the middle of midfield or behind the striker however that’s down to the supervisor. I’ll let him deal with that however, for me, to have Sean at the club is a real plus. It’s a genuine excellent finalizing from the supervisor,” stated Finn.