Bradley adds more firepower to free scoring frontline

by Dave Donnelly

STEPHEN Bradley feels Shamrock Rovers have got the right man at the right time after confirming the signing of striker Rory Gaffney from English side Salford City.

The 30-year-old watched from the sidelines, while he awaits international clearance, as his new teammates made it three wins from three with a comfortable 2-0 win at Waterford on Monday.

The Hoops’ strikers have been in top form so far this season with on-loan Preston man Graham Burke scoring five in the 6-0 win over Cork City.

Aaron Greene popped up with an injury time winner against Bohs on the opening day but Bradley has been searching for another prolific striker to take the pressure off his leading marksman.

“I’m really happy to get Rory in. It’s something myself and Stephen McPhail have been working on and thankfully we managed to get it done,” said Bradley.

“I think he fits the way we play and he fits as a person as well, so he ticks all the right boxes for us. Rory will score goals for us, there’s no doubt about that.

“I’ve played with him so I know what he’s like and what his movements are like. He suits the way we play and he has all the attributes to score goals for us.”

Gaffney played with Bradley at Limerick in 2011 and was a target for Rovers before leaving the league of Ireland five years ago to join Bristol Rovers.

The Galway native was prolific with the Pirates and made the move down to the National League two years ago, helping them reach the football league for the first time.

He has most recently spent the first half of the English season on loan with Walsall but felt the time was right to explore options close to home once more.

Gaffney added: “I had spoken to the club before I went away to England initially and it was always a team that if I came back to Ireland I wanted to sign for. It’s the best club in Ireland.

“If any other club had rang me, I wouldn’t have been too interested in coming home. It’s really just happened in the last three or four days and I was happy to take the chance.”

Two goals in the opening 17 minutes, an own goal from Akin Ademayo and a fine strike on debut from former Glenavon full-back Rhys Marshall, saw the Hoops to a facile win at the RSC.

Waterford defender Andre Burley also saw red in the early stages as a much-changed Hoops side made short work of a second Munster side in four days.

Ireland international Burke installed himself as an early favourite for the golden boot as he notched five in the rout over Cork in Tallaght, with fellow international Jack Byrne also on target.

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