SHAMROCK ROVERS HAVE appointed Brian Laws as director of football until the end of the season, a move the Tallaght club hopes will give them some “breathing space” as they search for the right man to replace Stephen Kenny.
Laws’ first task will be to face the media on Tuesday afternoon as preparations continue for the EA Sports Cup Final against Drogheda United.
The former Scunthorpe United and Burnley manager will take charge of the first team for Saturday’s game at Tallaght Stadium and for Rovers’ six remaining matches in the Airtricity League.
Kenny was sacked last Tuesday with Rovers anxious to draw a line under his disappointing tenure, less than nine months after they headhunted him from Derry City and reportedly handed him a three-year contract.
Assistant manager Stephen Glass, who deputised as Rovers crashed out of the FAI Cup against Shelbourne on Friday, and the rest of the backroom staff will remain in their roles, club chairman Jonathan Roche indicated on Monday.
In a career which spanned almost 20 years, Laws made over 100 appearances for Burnley, Middlesbrough and Nottingham Forest before moving into management with spells at Grimsby Town, Scunthorpe United and Sheffield Wednesday.
He returned to Burnley as manager in January 2010 but was unable to keep the Clarets in the Premier League and was sacked in December 2010 after a disappointing start to their first season back in the Championship.
“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,” Laws said in a statement.
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.
With six games left to play the Hoops are 13 points adrift of league leaders Sligo Rovers, all but ending their chances of winning the Premier Division title for a third successive season. After Friday night’s defeat ended any hopes of qualifying for Europe as cup winners, Rovers now need a top-three finish in the league to guarantee a place in the Europa League qualifying rounds.
“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,” Roche said in a statement.
“Bringing Brian in also gives the club some breathing space to take our time to pick the next manager.
“Brian’s experience in [the] 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.”