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‘It was good to get a goal for him’: Grandfather tribute from Caley Thistle’s Rooney

Shaun Rooney has penned a pre-contract with St Johnstone.
Shaun Rooney has penned a pre-contract with St Johnstone.

Caley Thistle defender Shaun Rooney dedicated his opening goal in Saturday’s 2-0 Championship win over Dunfermline to his late grandad Tom.

The passing of Rooney’s grandfather a fortnight ago came just months after the right back lost his mother, in what has been a difficult 2019 for the 23-year-old.

Rooney says his second goal of the season was a poignant moment.

He said: “It’s good to be back scoring – my last goal was against Ayr. My grandad Tom Rooney passed away two weeks ago, so that was for him this time. It was good to get a goal for him.

“It was another emotional goal at an emotional time, it’s that time of the year. That’s what happens in life.

“I’ve just got to try and do my best for my family.

“I will do anything for them – play well, score a goal, get a clean sheet or make a block.

“He tried to come to as many games as possible with my dad.” Headers from Rooney and fellow defender Jamie McCart sealed a deserved win for the Highlanders who made it four clean sheets from the last five matches.

Rooney felt the display was the perfect reaction to the previous weekend’s 3-1 loss to Partick Thistle, and he added: “It was a striker’s finish.

“The manager has got to put me up front shortly.

“It was an enjoyable day. We just played the game and played the conditions.

“The Partick game was a setback, but it’s all about bouncing back and trying to get back to winning ways.”

Inverness’ victory puts them four points clear in second place at the halfway stage of the campaign, although they still trail runaway leaders Dundee United by 13 points.

Rooney insists Caley Jags must focus only on their own matters, with the former Dunfermline and Queen of the South defender encouraged by the Highlanders’ form at Caledonian Stadium, where they have won all but three of their 14 games in all competitions this term.

He added: “We are not interested in Dundee United.

“I think they are too far ahead now.

“We just have to take it one game at a time now until the end of the season and see how it goes.

“We are trying to make this place a fortress.

“We can only try our best. If we get beaten we’ve just got to come back for the next game.”

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