- Thursday March 5th, 2015 @ 9:40
Dublin Derby Team News
The pre-season comes to an end this Friday as St Patrick's Athletic kick-off their 2015 SSE Airtricity League campaign with an away game against Dublin rivals Shamrock Rovers in Tallaght Stadium.
The Saints and the Hoops meet in what is one of the most high profile games on the opening night of the season, with Liam Buckley's side looking to start off their season with a victory over Pat Fenlon's side.
For Saints' midfielder James Chambers, reaching the first game of the season is one that he admits he is thrilled about as it was the focus for all of the pre-season training throughout January and February.
"It's great that it's finally come around and we're all looking forward to the game.
When you get into pre-season training, whatever the first fixture is, it's always the thing you focus on and get ready for.
The fact that it's a Dublin derby against Shamrock Rovers will only add a little bit of spice to it," Chambers told stpatsfc.com.
With players having swapped clubs over the season and many players on the night having played for both clubs, Chambers admits he expects it to be an interesting game for the neutrals to watch.
"There's obviously a few lads suspended for both sides so that's a pity that we won't see those players on the opening night of the season, but it should still make for a fascinating game as both teams will go out to play to win the game."
"As a group, we've done all that has been asked of us during pre-season in terms of preparation and getting our match fitness levels up, now we just want to get into the thick of things.
It's a long season ahead and we're involved in a few competitions, but it would be nice to start well and get a win."
In team news, the Saints are without the services of suspended duo Sean Hoare and Killian Brennan, while Ger O'Brien (hamstring) and Jamie McGrath (groin) are both doubts and will be assessed before the game.
Saints' signings Ciaran Kilduff, Jason McGuinness, Conor O'Malley, and Lee Desmond are all in line to make their league debut's if selected, while the club's most recent edition, Togo international Cyril Guedjé, could feature should he receive international clearance in time.
"It's great to finally get started," admitted Saints' manager Liam Buckley when speaking to stpatsfc.com.
"We got back into training in January and the players have worked really well since then to get their fitness levels up and get back into the rhythm of playing."
"We'd a good workout in Dundalk last week, but that game is out of our system now and we're fully focused on starting off positively against Rovers on Friday.
I know all our supporters are looking forward to it and ticket sales have been fantastic so we'll hopefully get a result in Tallaght for them."