Brush agrees contract extension

Richard Brush has signed a contract extension with Sligo Rovers. 

The 37-year-old is in his fourth spell with the club having re-joined for the 2021 season. 

Brush competed with Edward McGinty for the number of jersey last season and featured in the matchday squad on 33 occasions.        

Buckley has again secured the two-time league winner to compete in a department Rovers have a wealth of talent. McGinty, Luke McNicholas (currently on loan at Cliftonville) and Conor Walsh are also under contract.

An injury in pre-season scuppered him in the race for the starting position at the beginning of last year. He featured against Derry City late in the campaign and will once again be part of Liam Buckley’s squad for next season.        

The Rovers boss said: “Richard has been fantastic. He’s had a great career so far and there is more to come certainly.

“He has had to be patient and I don’t think luck shone on him at important points last season.

“Brushy is a very important part of the squad and a great person to have within the group. I think his influence has been felt in the last 12 months and it will continue to do so which is great news for everyone.”

Brush will enter a tenth season at the club in 2022.

A popular figure also with supporters after helping the club win honours early in his career and through more difficult seasons, he will once form a valued part of a enviable line-up of goalkeepers.

Brush said: “I knew when I signed last season the quality of goalkeeper was going to be very high and it was certainly the case. 

“What has been shown is you have to be ready to play because three goalkeepers were needed to play at various points of the season and four to be in the squad. Anything can happen and that’s how all of us will approach it next year. 

“It was bad timing to pick up an injury during pre-season which obviously made it more difficult for the start of the season and particularly given the standing Ed had having been first choice for a couple of years. In over 20 years in a career, you pick up the odd injury of course, it can happen and it’s part and parcel of the game. 

“It was nice to be able to come back into a full-time environment and know I can be ready and compete in that setting. That’s no disrespect to the Irish League but it’s just a different experience because with the intensity day-in and day-out compared to part-time. 

“I’ve enjoyed working with all of the goalkeepers here and it’s brilliant that all of us will compete again next season. I’m really pleased to sign again and we all know we can be needed at any point so in pre-season that’ll be on the minds of everyone to be ready for day one.” 

Brush, the most experienced of all the players in the club’s dressing room, said of the Rovers season last year and of 2022. 

“I had a really good feeling during pre-season last year. I could tell the squad was very capable and it was proven in the results over the first half of the season. It’s well-known we had a real bumpy patch. You have to factor in the players we were missing in that time and that’s not a slight on anyone, it’s just looking back Greg Bolger, John Mahon, Johnny Kenny, Robbie McCourt and Ed were all missing at a vital point in the season and it took a long time for all of them to return. They were top performers in the team and it hit us. 

“I do think the experience of going through that – and learning from it – will be a good thing for us. Last season some clubs in the league will feel they under-performed and they are all taking steps to change that so it’s going to get harder. We know that. We showed our quality was there to get us over the line to finish in third place and we’ll need to be better over the course of the season to match or improve on what we achieved last season.

“We also had the FAI Cup and the European aspect which, it goes without saying, we all want to do differently and make that a very different experience. The disappointments there again will drive us for next season and it’s great to have these targets again.” 

Rovers will return to pre-season training on Tuesday.