Category: News

Academy Goalkeeping Coach required

The club are currently looking to recruit an academy goalkeeping coach to oversee the training and development of our Academy goalkeepers in 2021.

The successful candidate should have completed their Fundamentals of Goalkeeping course as well as their Goalkeeping D Licence.

With some exciting prospects throughout our youth academy this is an exciting prospect to work alongside the club’s talented pool of goalkeepers and alongside our academy coaching staff.

To apply for this part time position, email your CV and Cover Letter to ogrady.27@hotmail.com

Closing date for applications is next Wednesday, February 3rd 2021.

Buckley ready to give more chances as recruitment continues

Sligo Rovers manager Liam Buckley will give more chances to academy players to secure professional contracts this year as he continues his preparations for the new campaign.

Buckley yesterday made Johnny Kenny the 15th member of his squad for 2021 as the 17-year-old signed on pro terms for the Bit O’ Red.

Greg Bolger, Robbie McCourt, Jordan Gibson, Shane Blaney and Romeo Parkes are some of the new additions for the upcoming season compared to the last campaign.

The Rovers boss will add a number of more senior signings to his group before the scheduled 19 March start – and will also open up more doors for the homegrown players.

A total of 16 academy players have played League of Ireland in the last five years.

Buckley said: “The coaches at the academy have done great work and I think the appointment of Conor O’Grady will benefit us as well.

“Last year we brought in over a dozen players from the academy to train with us over the course of the year just so could have a look at them in the environment and how they adapt.

“We’re looking to see how these players fit in and from my point of view if they slot in and look rightfully part of the group, we know they’re ready. Obviously all players are different and will develop at different times, there are areas to improve on for all young players that takes time and hard work and effort and all of that.

“What we saw of the players that trained with us, the technical ability is certainly there. That bodes well for us and I have no doubt we’ll see more and more players come through each season.

“If you look at the list of players who have progressed, both during my time here and before it, and come through to play for Sligo Rovers, it’s a credit to all of the work in the academy. We want to ensure we maintain the quality we have in our first-team with established and experienced first-team players and to use the academy players when the moment is right.

“I remember as a 17-year-old myself making my debut in the league and getting put in there. Once you’re good enough to be there, then the opportunity will come.

“Again with Conor joining the club in his new role, he can ensure that the style of play from the first-team is even more uniformly reflected in every team at the club and that will make it easier when players are stepping up because they will know what is expected. We’ll certainly be looking at more of the young players this season and the opportunity will be there to get contracts as well.

“Johnny Kenny was the first for this year, we don’t hand them out lightly at the football club, but we do want to provide the chances and that is certainly something we will continue to do.”

Buckley has set a start date of Thursday 4 February for pre-season. English-based players Lewis Banks and Jordan Gibson have already arrived in Sligo and are currently self-isolating under government guidelines.

Ryan De Vries will train with Auckland City – as he did last June when he arrived back for the restarted season – in order to build his fitness. De Vries is awaiting the birth of his second child in February and will travel to Sligo later in the month after the new arrival.

Romeo Parkes is finalising documentation and will also arrive in February.

Buckley said that while lockdown levels impact the types of training his players can do on their own, he expects them to arrive back with a good level of fitness.

“The group we had last year were fantastic in maintaining their fitness throughout a difficult and disrupted year. Our fitness was very good throughout.

“We owe a gratitude to Edel at CrossFit Sligo for their help last season. I feel that our time in the CrossFit facility added a lot to us and we’re grateful to them because they were generous with the support they gave us.

“That also helped the players know what they need to do and it will stand to them in the off-season period.

“They’ve all given been fitness programmes for the off-season. I like for the players to come back at a five out of 10 level if you know what I mean.

“It doesn’t take long to get up to speed because the players come in with a level of fitness which doesn’t require a lot of stages and their basic fitness will be good. I think that will be the case and the six-week period will allow us to work on what we’d like after initial assessments and early fitness work.

“We’re working on a start date of 19 March for the league and I’m hopeful that date will not change.

“Ryan and Romeo will join us afterwards, bearing in mind isolation protocols which we will be following totally as we did last season.”

In terms of his next recruitment, the Rovers boss confirmed he is looking to add “four or five” more players and moves are being made to begin those additions.

“I’m pleased with what we’ve done so far certainly. We have made offers to some players so we’ll see how that transpires.

“We know the areas we’re looking in.

“I don’t want to speak much on it at this moment, we’re quite relaxed on the position we’re in. We know the recruitment of the right players is of the utmost importance and the process is always our priority. That’s not just in January but it’s always at play, it’s a vigorous work to go through and it has to be. We’re aiming to improve the group for the new season.”

The mechanism of preparation games before the start of the league has not yet been confirmed as all clubs await greater clarification, with matches likely to only be against fellow elite sides in line with current restrictions.

For now Rovers can look forward to being back on the training pitch in less than two weeks’ time.

Johnny Kenny signs professional contract

Sligo Rovers can confirm that academy player Johnny Kenny has signed his first professional contract with the club today, penning a deal for the 2021 and 2022 seasons.

Kenny progressed from his club Arrow Harps and at school level with Coola Post Primary to join the Rovers underage sides where has made a big impression in the last few years.

That culminated in being the top scorer in the SSE Airtricity League Under-17 with 17 goals in eight games.

Kenny was moved up to Under-19 level for the end of the year, scoring two in the Shield semi-final and four in the final to take his record to 23 goals for the year.

The 17-year-old trained with the first-team last summer and today becomes the first new academy player to sign as a professional for 2021.

He is the son of a Rovers great, also Johnny Kenny, part of our 1994 FAI Cup winning team.

Liam Buckley said: “We’re very pleased to sign Johnny to his first professional deal today. Johnny is the latest in a long list of academy players that have stepped up to join our first-team.

“We have the likes of John Mahon and Ed McGinty who may be the obvious ones but in our squad we had seven or eight play first-team football last campaign.

“I have to give great credit to our academy coaches because I know what is coming through at the moment and the amount of talent is really something. The technical ability is very evident and that’s exciting for the football club here at Sligo Rovers and the region as well.

“With Johnny, he has shown the promise to deserve this contract. His record at underage level speaks for itself. He’s bright, quick, a brilliant finisher and has the physique as well.

“He will fall into the category that if he is good enough he will get the opportunity. First and foremost he must focus on his education and his Leaving Cert. That is his main priority and it is for every young player at the football club. He will train intermittently with the group before his Leaving Cert.

Johnny Kenny won Under-17 Player of the Year – presented by coach Ryan Casey

“As a former striker I’m looking forward to working with him and being able to help him develop. He has huge potential and it’s up to him. It’s 100% that he will play League of Ireland football with Sligo Rovers and he can go on and have a career here, I have no doubt about that. The question is how far he can go. Providing his education is on track and his attitude, application and all of those things are in check, the future can be very bright for him I hope.

“His father was a brilliant League of Ireland footballer for Sligo Rovers. To see another Johnny Kenny come through with that talent again, it’s brilliant. But as I say, can he match or even better that. It’s up to him and as a football club we will do everything we can to help him along the way. He’s also very fortunate to have his father guiding him along the way who has all that experience.”

Johnny Kenny said: “I’m absolutely delighted to sign today, it is a dream come true for me. I’ve been a supporter of Rovers all my life and for so long I wanted to be a player for the club at first-team level.

“I know the hard work starts now and I will be giving it absolutely everything. The manager and the club have given me the opportunity and I will do all I can to take it.

“I want to thank every coach at Sligo Rovers who’ve helped me get to this point, everyone at Arrow Harps and Coola Post Primary School for helping me in football, as well as my Mum and Dad. I can’t wait for this season to come.”

We’ll hear more from Liam Buckley on preparations for the 2021 campaign shortly.

Lotto Jackpot Hits €9,350

The Sligo Rovers lotto jackpot has now reached €9,350 following last Mondays draw.

This is the biggest jackpot in 11 months, with the draw being a vital fundraiser for the club every week.

The cost per draw is just €2 and we would encourage anyone who can, to support it.

There is a runners up prize every week for one lucky player who matches three out of the four numbers drawn.

This prize is valued at €100.

To enter four numbers ahead of the next draw on Monday January 25th, click here.

Families and Friends Stories from the Showgrounds Wall

More Families and Friends Stories from the Showgrounds Wall

Over 140 spaces are now reserved in the next section of The Showgrounds Wall. Each tile costs €100. Below are some of the stories about the fans and families who will feature in the new phase of the project. Details about to order a tile are below or here click here to purchase a tile

Loman Gallagher, who died after a short illness in January 2020, epitomised the volunteerism that is required to maintain a community club like Sligo Rovers.

Like his father, Loman senior before him, Loman worked at the Showgrounds turnstile on match days. Even though he loved watching the Rovers play and followed the club throughout his life, he parked his instincts as a fan to help with the vital work of gathering the finances to keep the club alive.

Loman is survived by his wife, Geraldine, his daughter Claire, son Paul and his wider family. One of his friends since childhood, Liam Mc Gonagle, formerly of Pearse Road, now lives in Mullingar. Liam, his wife, Louise and son Stephen, have decided to dedicate a tile in Loman’s memory on the next phase of The Showgrounds Wall.

Each time Loman became involved in a Sligo Rovers fundraising scheme, Liam Mc Gonagle was on his ‘customers to call’ list. After leaving Summerhill College Liam’s banking career brought him to several locations but he has always retained his links with the Showgrounds.

Another Co. Westmeath-based supporter has also booked a Tile in the Wall. Seamus McGowan rarely misses a home game and he is also a regular fixture at away matches.

Brian Tivnan works with a leading New-York based electrical services company, Riverdale. His Sligo-based brother, Noel, was a handy striker in his day and is a tidy golfer. They were reared in Old Market Street and their last shared adventure following The Rovers was the epic 1983 Cup campaign, culminating in the 2-1 victory over Bohemians in the rain and the mud at Dalymount Park where Tony Stenson and Harry Mc Loughlin scored the goals.

Brian and Noel travelled to all those Cup games, including the tie against Cobh Ramblers at Flower Lodge when Mick Graham rose like an eagle and headed the equaliser to bring the contest back to The Showgrounds.

The following year, 1984, Brian headed to London. Three years later he moved to New York and he has been based there ever since. There was a time when the Sligo Champion, on sale a week after publication, was his most reliable way of keeping in touch with home.

Technology has changed that and using the Rovers website facility Brian has ordered a Tile on the Showgrounds wall to celebrate the family connection with the club in their hometown. It will read

Brian Tivnan

Noel Tivnan

Sligo& New York

A father and son relationship that will feature on the wall is Keith Gray and his father, Leo. From his earliest days, Keith was immersed in Sligo Rovers by his grandfather, Leo senior. Keith’s father, Leo and uncle, Jim were reporters who tracked the fortunes of the club, through good and no so good times, for local and national newspapers and RTÉ Radio.

Prior to his retirement, Leo was the Sports Editor with the Sligo Champion – new sponsors of Sligo Rovers. Their tile will read:

Leo Gray

Keith Gray

Up The Rovers

Tony Fagan, a guaranteed selection in any All Time Greats Sligo Rovers 11 , is celebrated in the first section of The Showgrounds Wall. Two of his grandchildren will feature in the second phase. Paul McGarry has booked the tile with the dedication

Ethan & Rhys

Grandsons of

The Legend Fago

John Kerrigan, from Carney Co Sligo, a loyal supporter throughout his life, passed away at the turn of the year. Prior to John’s passing, David Kerrigan had ordered a tile to record John’s links with the club. It will read

John Kerrigan

Carney, Sligo

Rovers & Spurs

In recent years, thanks to the way communications systems facilitate a global village, Australia-based supporters keep up their bonds with the club.  Paul Gannon works and lives in Perth.  His deceased grandparents,  Jim Gannon and Eileen Curran, were once deeply involved in Sligo life.  Paul would like his own children to see tangible evidence of that linkage through the generations when they visit their ancestral homeland.  From ‘Down Under’ Paul Gannon has reserved a tile in the Showgrounds Wall that will have the inscription

Paul, Brody &

Melia Gannon

Australia

Finally few can match the record of Dermot Cawley, who will also have his place in the next phase of the Showgrounds Wall. His inscription will state

Dermot Cawley

Cedar Drive

90 Years A Red

Click here to purchase a tile

Each tile, costing €100, has space for 3 lines with 16 characters, including spacing, in each line.

If you wish to book a space in the new section, please click here.

For more information, or to purchase a tile over the phone, you can contact Shane on 087-7526445.

Rovers announce strategic partnership with Everton

Sligo Rovers can today announce a new strategic partnership with English Premier League side Everton Football Club.

The new agreement will see Sligo Rovers and Everton partner on several initiatives and cross-promotional activities including fan engagement, marketing and content collaborations.

Sligo Rovers and Everton academy coaches will also develop relationships and there will also be the opportunity for pre-season training bases for academy teams at both clubs.

The clubs will exchange knowledge across both coaching and business operations.

The hugely successful Sligo Rovers Camps for children will be expanded for the development of joint camps which include improved services, access and more coaching and enjoyment for participants.

The Bit O’ Red view this partnership as an ideal chance to expand our football club, acquire new skills and knowledge, open up new opportunities for coaches and players, grow our fanbase and all the while maintaining our model and remit as a community-driven and supporter-owned club.

Throughout the storied history of Rovers and the Blues, there has been a wealth of links between both players and fans.

Most notably, Seamus Coleman made the move from Sligo Rovers as a 20-year-old to join the Toffees in 2009. Coleman has gone on to make nearly 300 appearances for the Blues and become captain for the club and country.

Seamus Coleman during his early days with Sligo Rovers

In 1939 Everton giant Dixie Dean signed for Sligo Rovers, scoring 10 goals in seven games and helped Rovers to the final of the FAI Cup.

His time at Sligo Rovers is celebrated to this day and remains one of the most unique and special chapters in the history of Rovers. 

The clubs have played each other in several friendlies across different age groups and, more recently, Everton fans heavily supported the Bit O’ Red Supporters Trust campaign which raised more than €85,000 to allow us fund the remainder of the 2020 season which ultimately ended in European qualification.

Everton Football Club, one of the most well-known names in English football, currently sit four points from the top of the Premier League.  

The Goodison Park club have a decorated and storied presence in Merseyside for over 140 years, maintaining Irish links throughout that period and have an exciting future ahead under manager Carlo Ancelotti.

Dixie Dean is celebrated in the outdoor museum constructed by Sligo Rovers in The Showgrounds

Sligo Rovers chairman Tommy Higgins said: “This is a very positive day for Sligo Rovers. We have a shared history with Everton Football Club over many decades and I believe we also have the same principles and ambition to grow. They are a perfect fit for a collaboration such as this.

“Partnering with Everton will allow us to improve in many key areas, such as commercial activity, fan services and also the development of our academy coaches which is of utmost importance.

“We have very talented staff and a group of coaches at the club who will learn and develop from the basis of this link-up.

“We hope it is the beginning of a very fruitful partnership and perhaps, in time, more names will be added to those that have proudly represented Sligo Rovers and Everton.

“Our initial focus is beginning this partnership and seeing the benefits for all parties.

“We’re delighted to welcome Everton as our new strategic partner. We have two passionate sets of supporters who will now be cheering each other on.”

Everton played in The Showgrounds in 2010 as Seamus Coleman returned home

Richard Kenyon, Director of Marketing, Communications and Community at Everton Football Club said: “Sligo Rovers is a historic football club with a passionate fanbase, strong community support and ambitious ownership.

“Like a lot of clubs, Sligo Rovers are working hard to build back after the impact of coronavirus and we are very pleased to be part of a strategic agreement that marks a new chapter in their future and an exciting opportunity for Everton – building on the close relationship that has endured for more than 80 years.

“This exciting partnership is another step in our own international growth plans and offers clear benefits to both clubs. From joint fan engagement opportunities, events and business knowledge exchange to soccer camps, academy training bases and access to Sligo Rovers’ scouting network – it is an exciting collaboration. We look forward to exploring new and innovative new ways of working together.”

Seamus Coleman, currently of Everton and formerly of Sligo Rovers, said: “I’m delighted with this partnership between two clubs close to my heart in Sligo Rovers and Everton.

“I’ll be forever grateful to Sligo for giving me my start in professional football and for helping to pave the way for my move to Everton, the Club I am proud to captain and represent each and every day. 

“This partnership will benefit both clubs and, in particular, can provide support to Sligo from the social and economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.”

Over 100 tiles sold for second stage of Bit O’ Red Wall

Phase Two of our Bit O’ Red Wall is now well under way.

Over 100 tiles have been sold. Work on the second stage will begin before the start of the season. 315 tiles were sold in the first phase.

A tile consists of three lines of 16 characters.

It is one of the outstanding features of the ground where you can etch your name in Showgrounds history or remember a friend or family with a connection to the club.

Profits from each tile go to the club and you can have your very own space or you can buy a tile for someone.

Click here to buy and be part of this unique part of The Showgrounds through the Bit O’ Red Wall.

More stock added on SRFC Direct

After a busy December we have re-stocked our popular items on our online store.

In what was our most popular range ever, many items sold out quickly and we are happy to say these are now for sale again.

2021 home jerseys also back soon. Go to SRFCDirect.Com to purchase.

Our Joma Berna Sports jackets are among the items.

A warm jacket with a stylish design are perfect for this time of the year.

Shop here.

RIP John Kerrigan

John (Seanie) Kerrigan who died at Sligo University Hospital on Monday January 4th was a committed Sligo Rovers throughout his life.  A native of Carney Co Sligo, he is mourned  by his sister, Ida, brothers Jim and Brian, family members and wide circle of friends.

Paddy Houze, a Sligo Rovers committee member, paid tribute to John’s loyalty to the club.  “From his days in Summerhill College in the 1970’s John became a regular at The Showgrounds.  He had a great positive attitude and everyone enjoyed his company.  He helped with fundraising activities and he sold Lotto tickets for many years. He loved going to games ,home and away, and many players became his friend.  He was part of a very significant group of supporters from North Sligo. ”

The late John Kerrigan

John had great affection for Spurs but nothing got in the way of his regard for Sligo Rovers.  

Due to the Covid emergency at this time, we can’t gather to remember John in the appropriate way.

But the club will honour his memory and show our appreciation when circumstances change. RIP John, our thoughts are with your family and friends.