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A few facts on...Shamrock Rovers

Posted on 29 September 2011  - 12:00

We face Shamrock Rovers for the first time in the Europa League tonight - here are a few facts on our opponents from the Republic of Ireland.

We face Shamrock Rovers for the first time in the Europa League tonight - here are a few facts on our opponents from the Republic of Ireland.

It's our second match in Group A after our goalless draw against PAOK in Greece a fortnight ago.

Rubin Kazan beat Shamrock 3-0 in Dublin in matchday one. In tonight's other group game, PAOK travel to Russia.

- Nicknamed the Hoops, Rovers qualified for Europe by clinching their 16th Airtricity League of Ireland title in 2010.

- That took them into the qualifying rounds of the Champions League. After beating Flora Tallinn 2-0 on aggregate in the second qualifying round, they lost 3-0 to Danish side FC Copenhagen in the third qualifying.

- That meant Rovers switched to the Europa League play-offs, where they recorded a famous away victory against Partizan Belgrade to win 4-3 on aggregate and move into the group stages of the Europa League.

- The 3-0 loss at home to Rubin Kazan was Rovers' heaviest home defeat in the UEFA Cup/Europa League.

- Rovers are managed by Michael O'Neill, who made 33 appearances for Northern Ireland and also enjoyed spells in English football with Newcastle and Coventry.

- Assistant manager is Jim Magilton, well-known in his playing days in the 1990s as a stylist midfielder with Ipswich, Southampton and more recently as manager of Ipswich and QPR. He was also capped 52 times by Northern Ireland.

- It will be a return to White Hart Lane for midfielder Rohan Ricketts, who made 36 appearances in all competitions for us between 2002-2005. He scored twice, against Villa at home in the Premier League and Coventry in the League Cup.

- It's been quite a journey for Ricketts since departing the Lane for Wolves. He's played for QPR, Barnsley, Toronto, Diosgyori VTK in Hungary, FC Dacia Chisinau in Moldova and SV Wilhelmshaven in Germany before joining Rovers in the summer.

- Rovers were formed in the Dublin suburb of Ringsend in 1901. The name was selected after the second meeting of the club's committee held in a private house on a street called Shamrock Avenue.

- The sale and demolition of their Glenmalure Park stadium in 1987 sent Rovers into decline and the Hoops spent two decades without a home, winning only one trophy – the league title in 1994.

- It was only in 2009 when Rovers finally found a permanent home with the move to the Tallaght Stadium that the Hoops promptly ended their long trophy famine by winning the 2010 Premier Division title, beating local rivals Bohemian on goal difference.

- Rovers are currently joint-top of the league with Sligo, with a game in hand. They beat Bray 5-2 on Sunday.

- Pat Jennings' son, Pat Jnr, joined Rovers in July, 2010, but didn't play a competitive game before switching to Glenavon in March, 2011.