AIRTRICITY LEAGUE SOCCER
Surefire Shaw set for Rovers
By Daire Walsh
FOLLOWING much speculation in recent weeks, Shamrock Rovers finally confirmed the signing of Newbridge’s Gary Shaw for the 2016 Airtricity League Premier Division campaign.
Shaw joins Rovers after a four-year spell with Tony Cousins’ Longford Town, and considering the stature of the south Dublin club, he was thrilled that the move was finalised in a swift manner.
“I’m delighted to get it over the line. I’ve known about it now for a good while, but I wasn’t sure what way it was going to go because there was a fee involved, because I’m under 23,” said Shaw after being unveiled last week. “That took a bit of time to get done, but it’s done now. I know where my future lies, and I’m delighted to get it done, because Rovers is such a big club.”
This is undoubtedly the biggest move of Shaw’s career, which has also found him enjoying spells at Newbridge Town and Bray Wanderers. However, he has nothing but praise for all those connected to Longford, and in particular manager Tony Cousins – who helped him to re-build his career in the aftermath of an injury-laden period at Bray.
“Yeah, I felt like I’ve been there ages now. It was four great years. I had a few injury woes at Bray when I first started. I was always grateful for Longford, because they kind of gave me that platform. Tony gave me that platform to re-build my career, because I broke my foot twice with Bray.”
“I do wish them well for next season, and I’m looking forward to going down there and playing against them. I’ve got a few nice messages from the fans as well, which is always nice to see. They’re sad to see me go, but they’re wishing me well with Rovers, so it’s nice.”
Shaw isn’t the only Kildare interest with Rovers and he will link up with Naas man, and former team-mate after a spell together at Longford, Craig Hyland.
“We played a year together at Longford anf travelled in the car together. We’ve already been in touch, and we’re going to be striking up that partnership again. I’d know a couple of players there. I’ve played with Dave Webster as well, who plays with them. I played with him at Bray, and obviously Craig at Longford.”
As is the case with most strikers in the league, Shaw will set his own personal targets for the new term, and now that he has an opportunity to concentrate full-time on football, he is committed to adapting a professional approach to his game.
“Yeah, well obviously I want to play as much as I can number one. Stay injury-free, play as much as I can, score as many goals as I can. I’ll set myself my own targets before we go back in pre-season, and I’ll try and achieve those goals.”
“I’ll be acting as a proper professional. I’ve always tried to do that, and I’ve played kind of semi-professional, and I’ve had kind of college or work along with training. The fact that I can solely focus on football, and do everything right around playing, resting and my own general lifestyle.”
“Being able to do that now, it’s going to be massive for me, and I think with the full-time football, I think I can really come on as a player, and I suppose really achieve what I feel I can, and get to the highest level possible,” Shaw added.