Football | Graham Burke returns to Shamrock Rovers

Shamrock Rovers have signed Graham Burke on a 12-month loan deal.

Burke returns to the Hoops on loan from Preston just over a year after leaving Rovers for the Championship club in a reported €300,000 deal.

The 25-year-old failed to break into the Preston team, and spent the second half of last season on loan at Gillingham.

Burke’s return will hugely improve Rovers’ attacking options, though he is ineligible to play in the club’s Europa League qualifier on Thursday.

“I’m delighted to get him in,” Stephen Bradley said, in quotes reported by The Irish Times.

“It’s been ongoing for a while. I always spoke to him since he left. When the opportunity of his availability came up, I mentioned it to him and he was delighted.

“He couldn’t wait to get it done. He was pushing hard at his end to get it done. I’m just delighted to get him in.”

Burke was one of the Premier Division’s standout players in his previous spell with the Hoops, with his eye-catching form earning him two international caps for the Republic of Ireland.

The former Aston Villa youth became the first League of Ireland player to score in a senior international for Ireland in 40 years against the USA last year in just his second cap.

He also became the first Shamrock Rovers player to score four goals in one game since Stephen Geoghegan against Waterford in 1992 in his second – and final – season in Tallaght.

Rovers fans will be hoping that Burke’s return can help the club to kick on in their battle for the title.