Irish Daily Mirror


Veteran Prendergas­t is determined minnows Bangor will enjoy a ‘bonus’ shot at Rovers

- Bangor Celtic Shamrock Rovers PAUL O’HEHIR

Tallaght 7.45pm


DEREK PRENDERGAS­T is laughing as he discusses the value of LOI TV in his life.

“I’ve kids now and it’s tricky trying to tell your partner that you’re nipping out to a League of Ireland game on a Friday night when you’re not involved any more,” he says.

“But when you can watch it all from home, well, at least she’s not too p ***** off !”

Tonight the former Drogheda, Shelbourne, Bohemians, Bray and Athlone man gets the chance to wind the clock back.

The centre-half, who played in the 2013 FAI Cup final for Drogs but was sent off in a 3-2 loss to Sligo (right), will be one of the Bangor defenders tasked with trying to put manners on the best team in the country.

No easy task for the Leinster Senior League top flight side from Crumlin, who are still in early pre-season. “This is a bonus for us after reaching the last 16 of the Intermedia­te Cup. It’s really a reward for the committee keeping the club afloat on limited resources,” he said.

“These are the days that show small clubs like ours that special occasions do come around every now and then. Hopefully, from a sponsorshi­p point of view, it gets Bangor’s name out. When you’re in the League of Ireland you take all that for granted. But when you’re a club only surviving year-to-year, you appreciate it more.”

From Hanlon’s Corner, Bohs were

Prendergas­t’s local top flight side but he was a Shels fan growing up having played schoolboy for Stella Maris. Playing his part in the Reds’ promotion in 2019 is one of his career highlights.

But at 37, Prendergas­t has come full circle with Bangor Celtic having started out there as a teenager.

“I’d four or five years with Bangor before going to Bray and it’s still the same manager, John Scott,” he said.

“There’s one player still there and then past players have taken up managerial roles between the Saturday and Sunday senior sides. I’m a northside lad so they’re not my local team but, even though we’re a Crumlin club, we’ve had a few homes.

“But I just love playing football. We’re playing at the highest level of the Leinster Senior League and I’ll keep going until my legs stop.

“We’ve a lot of young players who are League of Ireland fans so they want to test themselves even though we’ve just had two pre-season games.”

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