Gavin Peers interview part 1
Gavin Peers will be going into his 10th season with Rovers this year having joined following the club’s promotion in 2005.
He has amassed 298 appearances with the club. During that time he has won one league, three FAI Cups, a League Cup and the Setanta Cup. He has played in European competition seven times.
Following a serious knee injury in the 2013 FAI Cup final the defender worked his way back to fitness and is now ready to begin challenging for more honours in the new season.
Peers sat down with sligorovers.com to look back on his career with the Bit o’Red so far.
After leaving Mansfield was it your intention to play in the League of Ireland?
“No it wasn’t, I was just coming back because I got fed up over there and a bit homesick. I just wanted to come home, I didn’t actually know what I was going to do. I was just coming home to get a job. But then I got a few phone calls off a few different clubs. Sean Connor was one of them so I just came up here and signed.”
What was your first impression of Sligo and the club when you came down?
“The first impression I got when coming to Sligo was very good. I didn’t really know anything about the place before I came up. But the facilities and that we really good even back then. So I was happy to sign and here I am still here now nine years later.”
In your first season at the club you mainly played right-back, were you always a centre-back?
“No I mainly played right-back and I was a good right-back too! At Mansfield I always played right-back. I played a little bit of centre-back when I was at Blackburn but I had always mainly been a right-back. But then at the start of the 2007 season when Rob McDonald was manager we were a bit short in the middle so he asked me to play there and I’ve been there ever since.”
The club had a very successful time under Paul Cook, what do you think was the main reasons for this?
“I really enjoyed my time playing under Paul. We had a very good team back then and played good football. I think the main thing was just having better players. The likes of Richie Ryan came in, I loved playing with him. And Joseph came him which gave such a strong midfield obviously. My mate Danny (Ventre) was there too. I think myself and Danny had a great partnership when he was there in front of me. We used to hunt in packs, he’d go in first and I’d go in behind him, we just had a good understanding. I’ve played with some good players, obviously Seamus Coleman and Eoin Doyle, but they were all good players in different ways. But that’s football you play with good players and they move on.”
The first silverware came in 2010, what are your memories of the FAI Cup final that year?
“It was obviously a very good one because we won it and there was something like 36,000 people at it. I had just played at the Aviva just before it and made a mistake and I was worried but I just wanted to put things right. And when we won it it was just a great feeling. That was a year my boy Bradley was born as well so it was a good year all round.”
Did you consider taking a penalty in the shoot-outs in 2010 or 2011?
“No. In the first one they had a man sent off. Jim Laughlin jumped on the bench and I wanted to be that man. But I would’ve taken one if I had to. In the 2011 cup final I think I was either next or the one after to take one. I was getting nervous but obviously it didn’t go that far, Trackie helped me out.”