Category: News

Ticketing arrangements vs Dundalk

Sligo Rovers can confirm a capacity of 2,100 will be in operation for Tuesday’s re-arranged SSE Airtricity League Premier Division match with Dundalk at The Showgrounds.

SEASON PACK HOLDERS

Season Ticket holders can use their 13 digit barcode, which was emailed to them on August 11th to gain access to our ticketing system on this link.

Season Pack holders have until Tuesday morning (September 14th) to claim their tickets.

Our stadium seating plan will be in operation and supporters must use their assigned seats as per your E-Ticket. Season Pack holders must also bring one ticket from your season pack booklet and present it on the turnstiles.

While E-Tickets can be used digitally on a smart phone, we encourage fans to print them out where possible as this makes it easier for our scanning team and fastens up the entrance process for everyone.

GENERAL SALE FOR HOME FANS

All other home fans can gain entry by paying cash at turnstiles. There will be no online sale prior to the game on Tuesday for home supporters – they can purchase tickets at turnstiles with cash.

Please respect seating arrangements with assigned seating.

AWAY FANS – ONLINE ONLY

Dundalk will receive an allocation of 10% – which will go on sale online from Sunday via Sligo Rovers.

Away fans will be situated in the usual away section, in sections T, U and V of the Jinks Avenue Stand. Dundalk supporters can only enter through online sales with no tickets available at the stadium.

We look forward to welcoming our supporters to the ground on Tuesday.

The management committee wish to acknowledge the patience of supporters who missed out on games in the last 18 months and helped create such a special atmosphere at the game vs St Patrick’s Athletic last Friday night. We are thrilled to be able to welcome back so many fans and ask to continue to follow Covid-19 protocols in order to make it a safe event for all.

Rovers impress in win over St Pat’s

Sligo Rovers put an end to their recent winless streak with an impressive win over a disappointing St Patrick’s Athletic at the Showgrounds.

Johnny Kenny netted an early penalty for the Bit O’Red, while Ryan De Vries followed up with Sligo’s second before the break with a thunderous drive from distance.

With no win in their last eight and looking to cut the gap to the top two to eight, Rovers started this game in the best fashion possible.

Homegrown hero Kenny confidently dispatching his third minute spot kick after John Mahon felt a push from a Pat’s defender as he tried to latch on to Lewis Banks’ flick on from Greg Bolger’s set-piece.

Kenny was the creator this time as Sligo nearly doubled their lead four minutes later. A defender’s finish from the roaming Banks saw the full-back totally miscue his first time strike from Kenny’s cross, after trojan work down the left from the Rovers youngster.

David Cawley’s corner bounced off the top of Vitezslav Jaros’ crossbar on 12 minutes. But the Dubliners, who suffered a sluggish start, should have levelled the game nine minutes later.

Rovers goalkeeper Ed McGinty could only push Billy King’s effort into the path of Mattie Smith, but the ex-Waterford winger side-footed the subsequent effort over the Sligo crossbar from close range.

McGinty was called into action again when he had to shift his weight at the final second to get enough in front of an Alfie Lewis strike.

Liam Buckley’s charges then extended their advantage moments before the break. De Vries unleashed a mammoth effort from 25 yards for his second goal of the year to double Rovers’ lead.

Jaros scrambled to keep out De Vries 20 minutes into the second half as Sligo almost profited from a slick counter.

Kenny and Andre Wright were involved as De Vries, who could have gone one more and played the ball into the path of the incoming Adam McDonnell, decided to go it alone but could only smash the ball straight at the Czech stopper.

Pat’s turned up another great chance to put Sligo under the cosh with 19 to go. Darragh Burns fired over after from 10 yards having done all the hard work in the lead-up.

Chris Forrester, subdued up to this point, wasn’t too far off with his first-time effort from the angle after the ball fell to the Saints’ playmaker at the corner of the penalty area.

But Sligo ran out two-goal winners to move within eight points of tonight’s opponents.

Sligo Rovers: Ed McGinty; Lewis Banks, John Mahon, Garry Buckley, Robbie McCourt; David Cawley (Seamas Keogh 87), Greg Bolger (Niall Morahan 78); Ryan De Vries (Melvyn Lorenzen 71), Adam McDonnell (Colm Horgan 87), Johnny Kenny (Walter Figueira 78); Andre Wright.

St Patrick’s Athletic: Vitezslav Jaros; Jak Hickman (Ben McCormack 67), Paddy Barrett, Sam Bone, Ian Bermingham; Darragh Burns, Chris Forrester, Billy King (Nahum Melvin 79), Mattie Smith; Alfie Lewis (Jamie Lennon 87); Ronan Coughlan.

Referee: Paul McLaughlin.


Preview: Rovers take on Pat’s on Friday

Sligo Rovers meet St Patrick’s Athletic on Friday night in the SSE Airtricity Premier Division in the Showgrounds, kick-off 7.45pm.

Tickets are available at turnstiles.

The sides currently sit within the top three places in the table. Rovers earned a draw last week against Drogheda United with a first clean sheet since July.

Rovers are 11 points behind the Saints, with two games in hand. The first meeting of the teams in Sligo was 1-1 draw, while Pat’s won the reversal.

There is just one absentee for Rovers this week, with Shane Blaney out with a foot injury. The defender is likely to miss the rest of the month with the injury.

Greg Bolger and Melvyn Lorenzen were ruled out late on last week but return to the squad. Lorenzen would make his debut if appearing.

With a 50% capacity, up to 2,100 supporters can attend, with the biggest attendance in the stadium in 18 months set to be achieved.

Manager Liam Buckley said: “We came away with a point and a clean sheet in Drogheda. There wasn’t a lot in it as is the case in a lot of games. Overall it was a scrappy type of match. We have to hang in there and keep working. I think from now to the end of the season you’ll see a lot of games where results are ground out and they are decided with very fine margins.

“We’re looking for more in terms of an overall performance and we will get it I feel. It’s great to have Greg and Melvyn available for selection this week. Robbie McCourt came back against Drogheda and overall it makes us stronger. Greg has been an important player for us this season, as has Robbie, so it will certainly help us. Melvyn needed a bit more time to be ready to play and he has come through the week in a good fashion.

“St Pat’s have done well this season, they’ve a particular style of play and are up there at the head of the table. That said, I do feel we can get the result we’re looking for. It’s second against third as it stands and we want to be up there come the end of the season.

“It’s great to be able to have supporters back up to a couple of thousand. It has been a difficult couple of months and I’d love to be able to reward them for sticking with us when they couldn’t get into the stadium. That is something we’re aware of and we’ll be looking for the result on Friday night to make it a great welcome for them.”

Academy Weekend Review – September 5th

All six of our academy sides were in action over the weekend as the men’s U19s opened their Elite League campaign with a win at home to Cork City.

Kailan Barlow and Josh Mulrennan were named as substitutes on their respective return from injury and it was their introduction in the second half that swung the game in Rovers favour. Cork were marginally the better side for the first hour, their captain Luke Desmond standing out in particular as a real talent in centre midfield, however, clear cut chances were at a premium as both sides were restricted to shots from outside the box. The best chance fell to Cork on 52 minutes as Desmond found striker Bradley Walsh on the edge of the area but his effort was pushed wide by James Robinson in the home goal. That prompted a change in personnel and Rovers assumed control. On 72 minutes, the best move of the match led to the only goal. Cillian Heaney and Barlow played a neat one-two in the middle of the pitch to open things up before spreading it wide left to Mulrennan. The winger raced to the byline and cut the ball back towards the onrushing Jason Devanney – whos effort was brilliantly blocked by a retreating defender but the ball squirmed loose and rolled into the path of Barlow who had the simple task of tapping home from 6 yards with the keeper already committed. Rovers sat a bit deeper as the clock ticked past the 90 minutes and Cork forced a succession of corners. One such cross found substitute Kyle Cuddy unmarked 8 yards out but his goal bound header was superbly tipped over the bar by Robinson. The subsequent clearance brought with it the final whistle and 3 points for Rovers.

The U14 and U15 sides were on the road for their respective Shield openers this past weekend. The U14s travelled to Pearse Park to take on a tough Bray Wanderers side (won 4 of their last 6 games) and were beaten by three goals to nil. The U15 side had a shorter commute and drew their opening game 1-1 in Castlebar. Gary Farren scored the goal for Rovers, his third goal in his last three games.

Conor Cannon smashed a hat trick for our U17s in Longford on Saturday lunchtime and Aaron Heaney netted a brace as Rovers hit 6 and made it two wins out of two. Adam Nugent continued his excellent run of form also, scoring for the third consecutive weekend and sending the boys top of the early standings.

Our U19 women also went two for two and to the top of the league as they won a six-goal thriller in Wicklow. Kate Nugent scored for the second Sunday running to give Rovers the lead. Katie McGuire, Nola Eivers and Ciara Henry also got on the scoresheet as our women ran out 4-2 winners.

Finally, our U17 women were unfortunate to lose 1-0 to a really strong Donegal team in the opening round of the cup. Donegal came in to the game as favourites having stormed the league along with Shams this season but Rovers fought hard and, on another day, could have forced extra time but it wasn’t to be.

Sligo Rovers and IT Sligo announce plans to form first senior women’s team

Sligo Rovers in partnership with IT Sligo have announced new plans to form a senior women’s team with a view to joining the SSE Airtricity Women’s National League from the 2022 Season onward. 

IT Sligo has been a long-term partner with Sligo Rovers offering support in training and sports scholarships to the senior men’s team over the past two years. 

Now the Institute of Technology Sligo will extend sports scholarships to women players giving them the opportunity to play at senior level at Sligo Rovers. 

Announcing the new plans, Sligo Rovers Chairperson, Tommy Higgins said the partnership will allow elite women soccer players to participate at the highest level and gain an excellent academic qualification while playing:

‘’We are delighted to enhance our partnership with IT Sligo which has seen us create scholarships for our players over the last two years. Women’s football is something we are passionate about and we want to add to our existing Under 17 and Under 19 teams and incorporate a Senior team to compete in the SSE Airtricity Women’s National League. This is a big step for women’s football in the North West region and we hope it gives female footballers in the region something to work towards both educationally and in sporting terms’’

Vice President Academic Affairs and Registrar of IT Sligo, Dr Michele Glacken said it offers equal opportunities for female soccer players;

“IT Sligo is delighted to support the development of a Women’s National League team for the North West region. This partnership builds on our current successful Scholarship programme with Sligo Rovers, and offers equal opportunities for female soccer players to succeed in their sporting and academic pursuits. As an Institute, our aim is to help attract and retain talent in the region. By supporting this initiative, we are helping provide a level playing field for girls, ensuring they don’t have to compromise when it comes to furthering their education and pursuing their sporting careers”

Sligo Rovers have an Under 17 and Under 19 team currently playing in the Women’s National Leagues in those age groups and are now planning on establishing the first national league senior women’s football team in the Northwest region. Sligo Rovers U17 Women’s coach and former Irish international, Emma Hansberry said the announcement will enhance women’s football in the Northwest;

‘’This is great news for all female footballers in this region. Coming from Sligo, there was always massive potential in the area and the North West region in general but there was no pathway or women’s senior team to look towards. This is something that has been missing and now with the partnership between Rovers and IT Sligo it will enhance the women’s game all over the North West. The current group of players within the club are very excited and I know all female footballers in the region will be too’’.

From 8th September, the institute is opening up additional places on a limited number of courses and encourage elite women’s soccer players, who are seeking an academic qualification to consider applying, with opportunities to avail of sports scholarships from IT Sligo.

Pictured at the launch of the partnership at IT Sligo’s Knocknarea Arena are Keela Scanlon (Sligo Rovers Women’s player), Emma Hansberry (Sligo Rovers Women’s coach) and Ciara Henry (Sligo Rovers Women’s player)

Bit O’ Red youths in Ireland Under 17 squad against Mexico

Under 19 goalkeeper Conor Walsh and Under 17 defender Daniel Kelly are both representing Ireland Under 17’s this week in Cork as part of a double header of International friendlies against Mexico at Turner’s Cross.

Walsh, who signed his first professional contract with the club last week, played 90 minutes for Colin O’ Brien’s side in a 2-1 victory last night. Kelly was an unused substitute.

The pair from Mayo will once again be part of the squad tomorrow afternoon as the two countries meet at 12 Noon at the same venue before returning to the club for training this week ahead of games this coming weekend.

You can follow updates from the game on The FAI’s social media platforms and we will also have information on our Academy social media pages.

Showgrounds capacity 2,100 on Friday night

Sligo Rovers can confirm a capacity of 2,100 will be in operation for Friday’s SSE Airtricity League Premier Division match with St Patrick’s Athletic at The Showgrounds.

Season Ticket holders can use their 13 digit barcode, which was emailed to them on August 11th to gain access to our ticketing system on this link.

Season Pack holders have until Wednesday morning (September 8th) to claim their tickets.

Our stadium seating plan will be in operation and supporters must use their assigned seats as per your E-Ticket. Season Pack holders must also bring one ticket from your season pack booklet and present it on the turnstiles.

While E-Tickets can be used digitally on a smart phone, we encourage fans to print them out where possible as this makes it easier for our scanning team and fastens up the entrance process for everyone.

All other home fans can gain entry by paying cash at turnstiles. Please respect seating arrangements.

St Pats will receive an allocation of 10% – which will go on sale Wednesday. Away fans will be situated in the usual away section, in sections T, U and V of the Jinks Avenue Stand. Pat’s supporters can only enter through online sales with no tickets available at the stadium.

We look forward to welcoming our supporters back on Friday night.

Preview: Rovers head for Drogheda

Sligo Rovers return to league action on Friday night as the Bit O’ Red face Drogheda United at Head in the Game Park.

Rovers were last in action against Derry City as a late Ronan Boyce goal won it for the Candystripes.

Rovers sit in third place in the league and will stay there this weekend as the two sides below in the table will not play due to a postponed fixture.

Away supporters will be present for the first time this season with Drogheda allocating some of the stadium for Bit O’ Red fans. Tickets can be purchased on their website.

New signings Andre Wright and Melvyn Lorenzen are eligible to make their first appearances, while Jordan Gibson was sold to Carlisle United earlier this week.

In team news, Shane Blaney is the only confirmed absentee with a foot problem.

Manager Liam Buckley said: “It’s certainly a game we’re looking forward to. We’ve trained well the last two weeks and we’ve adapted the two new players into the group. It was good to have that time but mostly we’ve been looking to play a game again.

“I think we will be judged at the end of the season. We’re in the top three and we have to scrap it out for the next couple of months to stay there. We have a strong squad and we’re in that mix to finish the season well and finish high up the table. With the way the table is, every side is looking to get into the top three of four and it will take a fair share of points to be in there, we’re not under any illusions.

“Drogheda have had a tremendous year so far. We drew and were beaten against them so that shows you the difficulty of the game. That said, we are keen to play and it’s going to be a real test for us so we’ll dig in and look for a performance to win the game. That is what we’re looking for.

“We have the two new players who have been with us in the build-up this week. They will only make us stronger for the next 13 games.”

Academy – Weekend Review August 29th

Four home games brought three wins and a draw for the academy this weekend, including progression in the cup for the U14s and a winning start for the U17 and U19W in their respective Shield campaigns.

Conor Langan scored the only goal of the game as the U14s defeated Galway United 1-0 at the Showgrounds on Saturday lunchtime. Galway came into the match unbeaten in 9 games this season, winning 7 of those, scoring 37 times and conceding just 8. However, they were kept scoreless for just the second time this season as Rovers made it back-to-back wins, adding to the terrific 4-0 win over Cavan/Monaghan last weekend.

Concurrently, at the Sean Fallon Centre, the U17s were starting their Shield campaign with a victory over Athlone Town. Rovers were beaten 3-2 in extra time by the same opposition in the Mark Farren Cup just a week prior so revenge was sought and, 90 minutes later, procured, as the home side ran out 3-0 winners. Adam Nugent scored for the second week running to put us 1-0 up with Darragh Reilly and Niall Holohan ensuring there was no way back for the visitors. Rovers travel to Longford next Saturday hoping to make it two wins out of two.

The regular season ended for the U17W (barring a rearranged Athlone Town fixture) on Saturday evening at home to Bohemians. Rebecca Doddy continued her stunning goal scoring run as she fired her 7th goal in the last 6 games to earn Rovers a 1-1 draw as we await the start of the Shield. Rovers will be among the favourites to win the competition having finished 4th in the league.

Finally, on Sunday afternoon our U19W picked up 3 points in an entertaining game at home to Donegal. Eimear McIntyre and Kate Nugent scored for Rovers and we saw the game out despite a Donegal consolation. We have a fantastic home record this season, winning all but one game (a late 1-0 defeat to DLR after injury left us down to 10 women) and will be confident of topping the league come the end of October. Up next for our women is a trip to Carlow next Sunday for our 2nd of 6 games.

Richard Mullan

Conor Walsh signs three-year contract

Conor Walsh has signed his first professional contract with Sligo Rovers, penning a three-year-deal.

The 16-year-old from Westport is a Republic of Ireland underage international and is currently part of the Ireland Under-17 group having progressed through Under-15 and Under-16 level. He was also selected for a recent Under-18 squad.

He joined Rovers as a 15-year-old from Westport United where he excelled in the high-quality academy set-up at the Mayo club and was already an Irish underage international.

He has also progressed through the age groups in the Rovers academy, having passed Under-15 and Under-17 level and is now the Under-19 goalkeeper.

Walsh has been part of first-team training this year and was on the bench for one game.

He previously attended Rice College in Westport where he was coached by Gearoid Duffy and Brendan Clarke, as well as Joe Kelly, Kieran O’Hora, Michael Gibbons and Padraic Burns at Westport. 

Conor Walsh said: “I’m very proud to sign my first professional contract today.

“It’s been a dream of mine to become a professional footballer. I’d like to thank everyone at Westport United for their help during my years there and all of the coaches at Sligo Rovers I’ve worked with so far, as well as my family. 

“I’ve loved every minute here in The Showgrounds and I’m just very excited to be here as a pro now. 

“I know that this is only the beginning and I’ll keep working hard both with Rovers and Ireland.”

Sligo Rovers head of academy Conor O’Grady said: “We’re very pleased for
Conor and his family as he signs his first professional deal.

“The length of the deal reflects the talent and dedication Conor has shown in his time at the club.

“Conor is a year ahead at Republic of Ireland grade and two years within our academy. At Under-17 level we felt he needed to be tested further and that has been vindicated as he is more than comfortable with the Under-19s.

“Conor’s former club Westport and his school Rice College have developed his talent and that has been carried on by Brian Morahan and Ultan McKenna here with us at the moment.”

O’Grady added that Walsh will follow a path taken by current Rovers goalkeepers, as well a new development in local education. 

“Conor will now attend Summerhill College in Sligo now as part of our partnership with them. He has to ensure his academic future remains a key part of his life, even as a professional, and this is a pathway we wish to extend to more players. I’d like to thank the Summerhill Principal Paul Keogh for his support. 

“His footballing development will continue within our academy and in time we hope he progresses to the senior team. Ed McGinty and Luke McNicholas have led the way and I have to say the young goalkeepers at the club are fantastic people as well as players. Conor certainly fits that description. 

“We’re extremely fortunate as we also have Richard Brush there as someone all of the lads can learn and benefit from and Leo Tierney as senior coach. The future for Conor is laid out and knowing him for the last two years, he’ll work hard and keep showing the great application and attitude which has earned him this opportunity.”

Sligo Rovers manager Liam Buckley said: “Conor has a very bright future ahead of him. 

“As we have shown, if we feel the time is right, academy players will get their chance at first-team level. Conor has experienced the environment and I have no doubt he will become more involved over these three years. 

“We have outstanding goalkeepers on our books and the likes of Ed and Luke have come from within the club which is brilliant. For now Conor will continue to play academy football to develop his game. The hard work by players, coaches and parents is hugely appreciated because the club is seeing the benefit in so many top quality young footballers being produced. I congratulate Conor on an important day in his career and hope there are many more great days to come.”