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Laws the new man at Shamrock Rovers

http://extratime.ie/newsdesk/articles/8938/laws-the-new-man-at-shamrock-rovers/

Brian Laws has been appointed as Director of Football at Shamrock Rovers and will manage the current champions until the end of the 2012 Airtricity League season. He will take charge of team affairs for this Saturday’s EA Sports Cup final in Tallaght Stadium and for final number of weeks of the season.

The club’s board have moved quickly to appoint an interim manager to replace Stephen Kenny who left the club last week. Laws has extensive experience from his professional career in England having played and managed in all four divisions in English football. He last appointment was managing Burnley in the English Premier League. Shamrock Rovers chairman, Jonathan Roche said today that “we have six important league games and the EA Sports Cup final coming up over the next month and a half, and Brian is coming in to help the existing back room staff to do as well as possible in those games.

“Bringing Brian in also gives the club some breathing space to take our time to pick the next manager. Brian’s experience in game will help us very much in the short term, and he has recruited many players from Ireland so he is not a stranger to the league.”

Speaking today, Rovers’ new Director of Football said that “I am delighted to be joining Shamrock Rovers and look forward to working with the chairman, board of directors, players, staff and supporters to move the club forward into a new era. I have significant football managerial experience having taken charge of over 800 league games in all four divisions in England. I aim to bring that experience with me to advise, guide and lead the club’s short-term strategy. My strengths include getting to know clubs from top to bottom and leading change where necessary, at all times identifying and building on the club’s strengths, culture and brand. I am delighted to be accepting the challenge and can’t wait to get going.”

The fifty year old made his professional playing debut with Burnley in 1979 and went on to make 125 league appearances with the club in a defensive role. He played with Huddersfield town and made over 100 appearances for Middlesbrough. A £120,000 fee in 1999 brought him to Nottingham Forest where he had a successful six year stint with the club in England’s top division. He won two League Cups and has a runner’s up medal from the 1991 FA Cup Final. He started in the ill-fated FA Cup semi-final against Liverpool in Hillsborough in 1989.

Laws went on to combine playing and managing with two clubs in the late 90’s, Grimsby and Scunthorpe. He hung up his playing boots in 1998 and he spent over a decade managing Scunthorpe. He twice got them promoted from the fourth level of English football.

In 2006 he moved to take up the managerial position at Sheffield Wednesday where he stayed for three years. He left the club in December 2009 with Wednesday in relegation difficulty. His last managerial role was in the Premier League in 2010 with Burnley, the club where he started his playing career. He took over from Owen Coyle but he couldn’t keep top flight football in Burley and they were relegated that season. During his time with Burnley, he broke the 800 game barrier as a manager. He was sacked from his position with Burnley in December 2010 and has been out of the game since then with his name linked with a number of vacancies during that time.

Rovers made a speedy appointment the last time they had a managerial vacancy to fill. It was only on the eve of Rovers’ final Europa League Group in mid-December 2011 that it was confirmed that Michael O’Neill would not be staying with Shamrock Rovers. Rovers moved rapidly to replace the Northern Ireland manager, headhunting Stephen Kenny from Derry City within a fortnight to take over the reins at Tallaght from O’Neill. It is clear that this time around the Shamrock Rovers board want to take their time on the appointment. They have brought in an experienced manager in Laws to see out the season giving them time and space to peruse the large number of CVs that have already found their way to Tallaght Stadium.

Published on extratime.ie on Monday 17 September

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