Player Interview by Andrew Dempsey
Perhaps one of the hottest striking properties in the First Division after a highly-impressive year with Cabinteely that yielded 17 league goals, Rob Manley certainly appeared to be a man in demand during the off-season transfer window.
Strikers are becoming a highly-sought after commodity in the League of Ireland, and they are even more so in the First Division. So, when news of the 22-year-old’s arrival to Bishopsgate was revealed, pulses were naturally racing.
“When Daire (Doyle) gave me the call I was buzzing, I’m really looking forward to it and I can’t wait for the season to get going now,” Manley told LTFC.ie.
“The club is doing things the right way. It’s run very well from the chairman down to the manager and I have been really impressed with the training sessions that we’ve been doing with John Martin, it’s been really good, and I’ve been really impressed with what I’ve seen so far.”
And while the Dubliner is enjoying his early days at the club, he admits that he is relishing his return to the on-pitch action in the coming weeks.
“Pre-season is tough wherever you go really. You have to put in a graft for six, seven or eight weeks. It’s going well, I think everyone is enjoying it and I can’t wait for the first few matches. The first friendly we have is this week. We’ll be playing a Leinster Senior League side so I’m really looking forward to it.”
And it is not only the former Cabinteely, Drogheda and Bohemians forward who is a new recruit to Bishopsgate.
James English (ex-Shelbourne) and Dylan Hand (ex-Dundalk) have also made the move to the club in recent months along with a whole string of new signings, with the former UCD underage star being left impressed with the impact the former Shelbourne and Dundalk duo have already had on the squad thus far.
“I think the signings that Daire (Doyle) has made have been top class,” he added. “James English has obviously won a league title last year, which is nice when you have a champion in your dressing room.
“Dylan Hand is obviously after coming from the top end of the Premier Division with Dundalk so he has good experience so there has been some great additions that Daire has made.”
And when it comes to 2020 vision, the lethal finisher is making no secret of what he wants to achieve.
“Personally, I want to get promoted. I think we all do; we realise the potential that the squad has and we just want to fulfil that. The fans are going to be huge for us. what I would say is to get out and support us. it’s hopefully going to be a big year for Longford and with the players we have we can hopefully put on a show.”