Airtricity League chairman Fran Gavin has confirmed that Shamrock Rovers will field a second team in the Airtricity First Division for the 2014 season.
Rovers applied to the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) for permission to enter a reserve team following the withdrawal of Mervue United and Salthill Devon from the league, and the Hoops will have teams in both tiers for the 2014 season. The FAI have also outlined the rules for Shamrock Rovers' second team, who are not eligible to qualify for the First Division playoffs.
Shamrock Rovers will have to pay the full First Division affiliation fee, while the second team will not be allowed to play in either the FAI Cup or the EA Sports Cup. In addition, any disciplinary sanctions will apply to both teams, and a maximum of only three outfield players and a goalkeeper from the Premier Division team will be allowed play for the First Division side on any given weekend.
Gavin welcomed the inclusion of the inclusion, confirming Shamrock Rovers' second team as the eighth participant for next season's First Division. "This is the first time that we have allowed a club to field a second team in a lower division of the League," Gavin said. "However, it is not unusual in a European context as this is the norm in countries such Spain, Germany, France, Norway, Holland, Switzerland and Portugal. It was an idea that came from the club and once they embraced the parameters we required them to operate within we approved the application."