Shramrock return will spell the end for Graham Burke at Preston North End
Preston have effectively said goodbye to Graham Burke after extending the striker’s loan to Shamrock Rovers.
Burke had spent the last 12 months with the Hoops and another loan deal struck between the clubs will see him stay at the Tallaght Stadium until June next year.
That is when his North End contract ends, hence he will not be back at Deepdale.
The latest loan was done in time for Burke to take part in Rovers’ restart game against Finn Harps in the League of Ireland.
He was a 66th-minute substitute in a 3-1 win which saw them top the table.
Earlier in the season before lockdown, Burke scored five goals in one game – a 6-0 win over Cork City.
Burke joined North End from Shamrock Rovers two summers ago.
At the time he had just won his first cap for the Republic of Ireland and had a good scoring record for his club.
The Dubliner started the 2018/19 season in Alex Neil’s plans and he scored in successive games against Morecambe in the League Cup and the Championship clash with Stoke.
He fell out of favour after the first couple of months of the season but returned to the squad in December.
Burke had a run of eight appearances at a time when the squad was hit by injuries.
In January 2019, North End loaned him to Gillingham for the remainder of that season.
Then last summer came his move back to Shamrock.
At first-team level, North End have not used the Irish market since signing Burke.
For a time it was quite a well trodden path , with Alan Browne the first arrival from over the Irish Sea in January 2014.
Daryl Horgan and Andy Boyle came from Dundalk in January 2017.
Then in July that year, Sean Maguire and Kevin O’Connor joined from Cork City.
At youth-team level, it is a part of the world where they still recruit from.
Browne and Maguire have lasted the course, both very much regulars under Alex Neil.
The others not so, Boyle now back with Dundalk and Horgan playing with Hibernian – North End sold the winger to the Easter Road club two years ago.
O’Connor’s contract PNE ended in June, with him having been loaned out a few times since January 2018.
The last of those loans came at League of Ireland club Waterford.