McPhail signs for Rovers

Not even the onset of lymphoma could deter Stephen McPhail from continuing his career and the 35-year-old yesterday agreed a new contract at Shamrock Rovers.

The former Ireland playmaker received the grim news about his health in 2009 while captain of Cardiff City. McPhail conquered battles on and off the field, however, to secure his longevity and yesterday, in the company of long-time friend Robbie Keane, confirmed he’ll be partnering new recruit and fellow international Keith Fahey in the Hoops midfield next season.

“I’m going to take it year by year and will see how the body is at the end of the season,” he said. “I’m starting my Uefa A coaching badge but I’ll try and concentrate on playing first and foremost.

“It’s been a testing few years but I just love playing football. I speak to players who are retired and they all say ‘keep going, as long as you feel like you can contribute when you are out on the pitch.”

Rovers have also added former Ireland U19 midfielder Brandon Miele, back home following a spell at Newcastle United, while ex-Hibernian full-back Tim Clancy will be involved in pre-season training next month with a view to earning a contract.

Derry City’s Rory Patterson may also be on his way to the Hoops. The forward was last week made available for transfer and Pat Fenlon is badly in need of a striker.

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