Aaron McEneff has joined Shamrock Rovers on an initial loan from Perth Glory. The deal will become a permanent transfer at the end of the 2024 season and Shamrock Rovers are delighted to announce that the player has committed his long-term future to the club.

Head coach Stephen Bradley spoke with shamrockrovers.ie and had the following to say on the signing of Aaron: 

As the 2024 season draws ever nearer, Rovers fans are absolutely delighted that Aaron McEneff has rejoined the club after three seasons away in Scotland and Australia. You must be equally delighted at the deal. 

“Yes, we are delighted. We all know what Aaron does and what he did for us when he was here the first time around, so we’re over the moon to get him back. Aaron and I always kept in contact since when he first left for Scotland. We had constant dialogue, so when it became apparent it was possible to have Aaron home and that he wanted to do that, we pushed on and got it done which I’m delighted about. Before he left, he was the best midfielder in the country. We need to let him settle back in and get him up to speed again. Aaron is proven quality, so we’re delighted to get him back in.” 

Alan Mannus, Ronan Finn, Aaron Greene, Graham Burke, Jack Byrne and Trevor Clarke have all left and later returned to Rovers with great effect. Do you see a similar effect with Aaron’s return? 

“I think it speaks volumes for the group in terms of we’ve lost some big players through the years, and we’ve kept evolving and moving on, but it speaks volumes that those players want to come back into the group at some point. They’ve come back at good ages and in their prime, so I think Aaron is no different. He’s coming back at a good age, and I can’t wait to get working with him again.” 

Aaron’s style of play in 2019 and 2020 was all-action and energetic with a liking for long-range shooting. Further to what you said about Trevor Clarke recently in terms of age and maturity, will his return add a different dimension to the team than what we’ve seen the past three seasons?  

“Aaron is that type of all-action player when he was here the first time. When he left, he was a very difficult player to replace, there aren’t many of those types around. So hopefully Aaron can bring the same again. We’re a slightly different team from when Aaron was last here. I would argue we are better than what we were when he left, so I think that can only help him as an individual and us as a team. When you add Aaron’s game to what we already do, I think it’s a really good mix so I’m really looking forward to having him on the pitch.” 

Was there interest from other clubs in a player of Aaron’s quality and how difficult was it to get the deal done?  

“Yes there was obviously interest from clubs here and away, but I think Aaron has a special bond with this club and this group and as I said we’ve been in constant contact. So, once we had the conversation about him wanting to come here, it was clear there was only one place he was going to go 

Speaking to shamrockrovers.ie Aaron McEneff said “it’s great to be back! I had two of the best years of my football career here and it’s great to see the lads who were here the first time I was here. It’s the same staff too so it’s been easy to fit back in again.” 

Transcript from SRFCTV interview with Aaron: 

You must have some great memories of your first spell here, playing a big part in Rovers’ FAI Cup win in 2019 and the title win in 2020? 

“Brilliant memories from here in Tallaght and the day in the Aviva Stadium to win the cup was amazing. We played in some really good games and scored some great goals here. We also had some good performances in Europe too, so hopefully, I can pick up where I left off.” 

How instrumental was Stephen Bradley in your decision to rejoin the Champions? 

“Massively instrumental. In my opinion he’s been the best manager I’ve ever had. He took me to another level when I first signed for Rovers. You only have to look at the success the club has had in recent years and the part he’s played in that. He’s a top manager who I love working under. We still kept in contact when I left Rovers, so it’s good to be back working with him again.” 

You said last Summer you felt that the FAI Cup win in 2019 was the catalyst for the success Rovers have had since then. Will you aim to continue that with the current group? 

“100%. At this club, it’s about winning trophies and that speaks for itself the past few years. As I said, that cup win was the catalyst for having that belief within the club and the squad. We went on to win the league and the lads have gone on to win four in a row which is brilliant. But you can’t stop, the day you do stop you’re done. Knowing the lads, that won’t be the case and we’ll be going all out to win the league and the cup this year.” 

The stadium looks a bit different now, so how much are you looking forward to playing again in Tallaght with the fans singing the song they have about you to the tune of “Enola Gay”? 

“It’s funny, the first time I heard it was in Finn Park, Aaron Greene told me about it when we were in the huddle. It’s a great song but it’s great when you have fans behind you like that. With the new stand and a packed crowd, Tallaght is a brilliant place to play football. So, I’m really looking forward to getting started again.”