Croly says Fahey is well out of reach

Shamrock Rovers manager happy to focus on Setanta Cup final as organisers seek new sponsors

Republic of Ireland international Keith Fahey was let go by Birmingham City this week. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Republic of Ireland international Keith Fahey was let go by Birmingham City this week. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho


Shamrock Rovers manager Trevor Croly has dismissed the idea Keith Fahey is about to sign for the club, having been released by Championship outfit Birmingham City.

The 30-year-old midfielder will be a free agent from the end of June and while those close to him say he will have options in England, there has been speculation – after a season in which he took time back in Dublin on compassionate leave – he might look to move home permanently.

Croly, it’s clear, wouldn’t mind being the beneficiary of a move like that but he doesn’t see it happening. “I talk to him quite regularly,” he said yesterday, “but unfortunately not about signing.

“Keith will sign for a Premier League team or a Championship team, he’s in the international team so he’s above our budget. I’d love to sign him but let’s be realistic, he’s an Irish international isn’t he.

“He trained with us for a couple of weeks in pre-season to get his fitness up and then went back. He was unfortunate he got injured. I haven’t spoken to him in a few weeks but I see the papers and he’s not staying at Birmingham. He’ll get a big club, though; I’m sure he’ll have an abundance of offers.

“He is fantastic,” Croly concluded. “You can see him playing in Germany or somewhere else in Europe; he’s probably more suited to Germany actually. You might get a bit more time on the ball and his ability would shine through.”

Croly’s more immediate concern is this Saturday’s Setanta Sports Cup final which the club head into off the back of a good weekend, with four points taken from the league games against Sligo and Dundalk. “I think anytime is good to play a final but we’ve hit some form, we’re playing well,” he said. “We’ve played well (in last two games) and (against Dundalk) we could have scored four or five.”

With Mark Quigley returning and the team creating chances, the manager is optimistic but says things won’t happen overnight. “Things that are worthwhile generally take time,” said Croly.

Time is running out, meanwhile, for the FAI and IFA to find a new backer for the Setanta-sponsored cross-border event after Saturday’s game between Rovers and Drogheda United.

Milo Corcoran, who chairs the organising committee, is confident that the event will continue. “We’ve identified a number of potential sponsors and there is certainly an interest in it,” he said.