New manager Owen Heary
Our latest look at reasons to Back the Bit o'Red in 2015 is on Owen Heary.
Sligo Rovers have a new manager this year in Owen Heary.
Heary is a famous name in the League of Ireland having won every honour in the game during a glorious career. He is now embarking on his managerial career which has started with great promise during his time in charge of previous club Bohemians.
He started his playing career with Kilkenny City in 1993, where he spent one year. Heary then moved to Home Farm where he stayed for four years and was part of their squad which won promotion to the Premier Division in 1996. He also won the First Division shield as captain in 1998 and made over 100 appearances.
In 1998, the defender moved to Shelbourne, and remained there for nine years. It was there he made 274 league appearances which is a club record, picked up five League of Ireland titles and the FAI Cup. In 2001, he was voted PFAI Players' Player of the Year. He was part of the team which earned a memorable draw against Spanish giants Deportivo in the Champions League qualifiers.
He moved to Bohemians in 2007, where he played until his retirement in 2013. There, he won two League of Ireland titles in 2008 and 2009, the FAI Cup, the League Cup and the Setanta Sports Cup. Individually, he was also awarded the SWAI Personality of the Year in 2008. That year seen Bohs win the double which was the second time in his career he was part of a team to achieve that. He retired from playing on the final day of the 2013 season.
The Dublin man has made 41 appearances in European competitions, a joint record for an Irish domestic player.
He took his first steps into management in 2011 when he took over managing Bohs underage sides.
In 2012, he became assistant manager to Aaron Callaghan at the Dublin. He was appointed caretaker manager of Bohs in July 2013 when Callaghan was sacked with the club bottom of the table. He turned things around to guide them to safety with a 10th place finish.
In the 2014 season Bohs finished the season in 7th just three points behind Rovers. They also reached the semi-final of the EA Sports Cup.
Speaking about his new job he said: “I am very pleased to become manager of Sligo Rovers. I am looking forward to taking on the job. It’s going to be a tough job but it’s a challenge and that’s what I want.
“I will be looking to hit the ground running. I want to see the club improve on this year’s finish and get back up near the top of the table because that is where I want to be.
“My ambition for the club is to win trophies, qualify for European competition and challenge for league titles.
“As a person my ambition is to be challenging for the league year in, year out and Sligo Rovers gives me the opportunity to do that. They won the league a couple of years ago but I want to be doing that on a regular basis.”
Since being appointed manager Heary immediately set about assembling his squad for the new season.
Many of the clubs most experienced players were re-signed with some new young faces being added.
“We will have a lot of games next year with the different cup competitions so it’s important to have a squad that can cope with that. I’m pretty happy with what we have done so far but I will be looking to see what else is available for us in the new year.
“I think we will give fans what they are looking for which is a young, hungry team. Some players could’ve went elsewhere for more money but they want to be at the club and they want the club to do well.
“It’s important that we have everyone pulling in one direction. We will need the fans to get behind the players, it will be a less experienced team but we can make up for that with endeavour. When the fans get behind the players it can lift them that extra 10%. Everyone at the squad is looking forward to getting back for pre-season and hopefully we can achieve something next year.”
His appointment has been popular with the club players with him being mentioned as a key reason for many of them signing with the Bit o’Red in 2015.
Jeff Henderson: “I am really looking forward to Owen Heary. I have spoken quite a bit with him since he came in and I’ve been really impressed. You can tell that he is a winner and he will bring that mentality to the squad. The players he has brought in he knows are all good players.”
Ryan Coulter: “I think Owen is going to be a great manager for the club. You can see that he has that commitment and hunger and wants success and once you have that its half the battle. I know him well from his time playing and he is a real footballing guy who will be great to play for. He will understand how players feel and be able to relate to them and brings a wealth of experience to the job.”
John Russell: “Owen Heary was a winner as a player and now he is a young ambitious manager and I am ambitious myself. I think I will improve as a player working under him. And also on the coaching side of things which I am interested in.”
Kevin Devaney: “Owen Heary was also a big factor in me signing. I could have come earlier this year and had a good chat with John Coleman but I decided it wasn’t really right at the time. But the fact that I know Owen well definitely persuaded me to sign this time.”
Alan Keane: “You can see with Owen he knows his ambitions and he doesn’t want to settle for being a mid-table team. You can see the ambition in him and I wouldn’t have signed if that ambition wasn’t there. We all have to believe that we can be successful.”
Dinny Corcoran: “Owen Heary was definitely a big factor in me joining but I would have been interested in joining anyway as Sligo Rovers is such a big club. But having been with Owen for three years I know how he does things and I like how he operates. I know he rates me as a player which is important.”
Danny Ledwith: “I think Owen Heary will be a very good manager and I’m excited about working under him. It’s good to have a young ambitious manager. As soon as I spoke to him you could see that ambition as he doesn’t just want to qualify for Europe he wants to win the league. He knows the league really well and has won everything here. He will be a good person to work under and I’m really excited about it.”
Keith Ward: “It’s great to be able to play for Owen Heary. He has won so many things in his career, I remember watching him when I was younger and he was always a great player and is a legend in the league. I played with him at Bohs when he was 36 but he was still running up and down the wing and was so impressive in training every day. He is a complete professional. I would just like to thank him for giving me the opportunity to play for him.”
Richard Brush: “I have been massively impressed by Owen Heary since he has come in. Obviously I knew him as a player from playing against him several times. He is putting together a squad now with some really good players. I think we will have a quality squad next year and with the signings Owen has made it shows where he wants to be.”
Steven Beattie: “Owen was probably the deciding factor in me coming to the club. I had interest from some other clubs but when he got the job he said he was really interested and said he’d love for me to come down and he showed me videos of the facilities and I was decided after that.”
Raf Cretaro: “I played with Owen before for a year at Bohemians so I know a bit about him and what he’s about. I know what sort of personality he is and he has the mentality of wanting to win things. I know what he will want and that is to win trophies and that is the attitude he will be emphasising to the team.”
Season tickets for next year as on sale and still at discounted rates up to December 24th, full details are here: http://www.sligorovers.com/news/14/dec/have-you-got-your-season-ticket-yet
Back the Bit o'Red in 2015
1. Family season tickets: http://www.sligorovers.com/news/14/dec/family-season-tickets-sale
2. Six exciting new singings for the new season: http://www.sligorovers.com/news/14/dec/back-bit-ored-2015
3. Great value available with season tickets: http://www.sligorovers.com/news/14/dec/great-value-our-season-tickets
4. New young, local talent emerging at the Showgrounds: http://www.sligorovers.com/news/14/dec/new-young-talent-emerging-showgrounds
5. New look Rovers for 2015: http://www.sligorovers.com/news/14/dec/new-look-rovers-new-season