New dawn for the Rocks

The new season is finally upon us and after a busy summer of preparation, the NY Shamrocks will launch their league campaign with a set of home games against Japan on Saturday evening at Roosevelt Island (6pm and 8pm).

The Rocks will have the privilege of providing the curtain raiser to the Cosmopolitan Soccer League Division Two campaign which welcomes a few new teams including CD Iberia and Dova FC.

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First team boss Glen Wrafter has reinvigorated his talented squad with a few impressive new signings including left sided player Brendan Lane, Queens striker George Despotopoulos, Liverpool born goalkeeper James Wright and Brazilian center forward Antonio Rebello.

He is also boosted by the return of Tom Settle and Sean Riley while managing to retain most of last year’s squad.

“We were desperately disappointed last season after missing out on promotion to CSL Division I by six points and losing in the League Cup semi-final,” admits Wrafter.

“Having strengthened the squad over the summer we hope to hit the ground running but with games against NY Ukrainians, Hoboken and CD Iberia in September, it will be tough.

“That being said there is an air of optimism in the club and hopefully come October we will be in a good position.”

The reserves begin their season at 6pm with new coach Stevie Doyle making his managerial debut for the Rocks.

Doyle retired from playing after the Over 30s ended their season in May and immediately set his sights on coaching by taking a course in Boston.

He has also added some impressive new blood to the ranks with Belfast native Michael McGreevey and Dubliner Johnny Hayes adding some energy to a midfield which is also bolstered by the skills of Kevin Curran.

Cork’s Richard Bambury is also shaping up to be a solid addition to the back line while the return of Dave Harvey could yet prove a key development for the long challenge ahead.

“I’m very excited for the start of the season,” said Doyle this week. “The managment and players have put in a great effort in pre-season and with FC Japan coming up this Saturday, we’re hoping to get started with a good positive win.”

With a new committee in place, getting ready in time for the new season was always going to be a challenge but our hugely supportive sponsors at the Courtyard Ale House and GTI Trucking have made the transition as smooth as possible.

A major club fundraiser takes place this coming Sunday when the first ever Rocks golf outing takes place in Pelham Bay/Split Rock golf clubs. The support for this has been good but we need more. Contact nyshamrocksc@gmail.com for more information.

Up the Rocks! Enjoy the season.

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