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International recognition for Rovers WU17 players

Three Sligo Rovers Under 17 women’s players have received international recognition.

Muireann Devaney, Kate O’Dowd and Emer O’Neill have all been selected for the upcoming Women’s Under 16 Development tournament in the Czech Republic.

The camp takes place from May 18th-25th.

L-R Emer O’Neill, Kate O’Dowd and Muireann Devaney.

Head-coach Darragh Healy congratulated his players: “It’s a great honour for any player to represent their country and I’m delighted to see the girls once again be selected in the squad.

“As a club we take great pride in seeing players playing at this level and it shows the great work that is being done by all coaches. We wish the girls the best of luck and hopefully they enjoy the experience.

“They have been fantastic since I have come in as head-coach this season and I’m not surprised that they have been called into the squad for this training camp.

“Let’s hope we have more girls going on to represent their country in the near future.”

The Bit O’Red girls are enjoying a fine season so far. With five games played they have picked up three victories (including a 5-3 defeat over Athlone on Saturday), one draw and one defeat.

New match night information

As we begin a new home season, the club have some new guidelines to follow on Friday night for the game with St Patrick’s Athletic.

Clubhouse / Refreshments:

The Bit o’ Red Supporters Trust-built clubhouse will be open for the first time. Tea and coffee will be sold in the clubhouse from €2. Alcohol is not available.

The main hospitality building will no longer be open except for club and match sponsors and current volunteers and committee, nor will refreshments be available.

That building will now be a base for our match night team who operate the running of the match event so we ask you to respect this guideline.

The sale of tea and coffee in the clubhouse will go to Sligo Rovers through the work of the Bit O’ Red Supporters Trust. The building has been funded through the Trust and refreshment sales are a means of financing improvements in facilities. Thank you for understanding and enjoy the great new facility which has long been needed and will be bettered as time goes on.

Season tickets / online sales:

All season tickets must be scanned upon entry from now as we use a new technology for the first time this Friday. The club’s ticketing partner will be assisting in the scanning of tickets on Friday. Two turnstiles will be dedicated to doing this.

We ask you for patience and to arrive early on Friday if possible. Given a large crowd is expected and this is a new departure for our volunteer turnstile operators, we ask you to respect the procedure and that entry to the ground may take slightly longer than usual.

Online tickets will be scanned. We have had lots of sales in advance of the game and we encourage you to buy here.

Cash turnstiles will also be open.

Media passes will not be accepted without applying to media@sligorovers.com as a list is operated.

Thanks

And enjoy the game!

AGM tonight

Sligo Rovers can confirm that our Annual General Meeting will take place tonight (Tuesday) at 7:30pm in the Clayton Hotel.

The AGM will see the election of the 2019 management committee, a presentation of 12 months of club finances and the chairman and secretary’s report.

Meanwhile the Annual Voluntary Member Contribution of €100 can be made on the night if desired or here for members or non-members.

For more, email administrator@sligorovers.com

Huge Club Bingo Returns

Sligo Rovers are delighted to announce details of an upcoming fundraising Bingo, which will take place on Sunday, March 10th at 3pm, in the Knocknarea Arena IT Sligo.

Following on from the clubs hugely successful bingo back in 2017, numerous requests from the public were made to the club to carry out another bingo.

This year’s one-day bingo event is set to be the biggest to hit the North-West region for quite some time, with €10,000 guaranteed in prizemoney on the day.

Single books are priced at €20 while Double books are priced at €25. There are numerous outlets through-out the region selling bingo books from next week. (These outlets are listed below).

Please note bingo books will also be available at the door on the day also. However, the public are urged to pre purchase their book if they can to avoid heavy congestion on the day.

Sligo Rovers would like to thank all of the following outlets for supporting the event and for facilitating the pre-sale of books:

  • Tanseys Centra Gurteen
  • Lavins Menswear Ballymote
  • Collerys Beltra
  • The Showgrounds Sligo
  • Post Office Maugheraboy
  • Post Office Cliffoney
  • Gillespies Tubbercurry
  • McKims Collooney
  • Matt Lyons Sligo
  • McLeans Ballinfull
  • Mc Morrows Rathcormac
  • Kellys Barbers Sligo
  • Higgins & Keegan Centra Enniscrone
  • The Hilltop Cullens
  • Bernies Shop Easkey
  • Feeneys Costcutters Dromore West

For more information on the Sligo Rovers Monster Bingo, you can contact Shane at the club on 071-9171212 or email shane@sligorovers.com.

Sponsorship opportunities 2019

Sligo Rovers have a host of sponsorship opportunities available for the 2019 season.

Sponsoring Sligo Rovers – a club deeply embedded in the local community and with one of the biggest online brands in the north-west region – is a proven method of promoting your business.

Click here to download the sponsorship brochure

The sponsorship prices are among the most competitive in the league and receive huge praise for value for money.

To become a sponsor, e-mail administrator@sligorovers.com

Click here for a list of fixtures to enquire to sponsor. Choose home games only.

Click here for the current squad.

Kearney’s pride at Rovers’ first season in the Under 17 WNL

Damon Kearney, head-coach of the Sligo Rovers Under 17 Women’s team says he can reflect on his year at the helm ‘with a huge amount of pride’ as he guided the Bit O’Red girls for a fourth place finish in the Group A, just missing out on third spot.

It was an historic year for the Bit O’Red, entering a team into the Women’s National League for the first time, for the first year of the Under 17 league.

And Kearney is immensely proud to be able to look back and see that he has played his part in developing women’s football in the region. He also says he is ‘gutted’ he cannot continue in his role.

“I look back on the season with a huge amount of pride, we have provided a pathway for female players to play for Sligo Rovers for the first time in the National League and you do need to look back to where it all started from to appreciate the journey that this season has brought,” the Roscommon man told sligorovers.com.

“This all began back in September 2017 where discussions were held informally with people involved in the women’s game in the region to gauge if there was an interest in exploring possibility of applying to have a U17 WNL side.

“Then we had to identify the right people to come together on the committee to sit down strategically and map out how to establish the women’s structure with the club. It was so important that a good foundation was there from the start because if the structures off the pitch aren’t right then it affects everything on the pitch especially when you want this to turn into not just having a U17 WNL team but also a senior WNL side.”

Kearney says he was honoured to be given the role as head-coach, bringing a wealth of experience with him thanks to his coaching roles with the Emerging Talent programme, Longford Town, Castlebar Celtic Women and more. He also works full time as the Community Football Development Officer for Leitrim with the FAI and Leitrim County Council since 2009.

“I was honoured to be given the opportunity to become the first head coach of a Sligo Rovers women’s National League team and I would like thank the support I had from the coaching staff around me this season who have been fantastic from the start in trying to create a good environment for the young players coming into the club. We all knew that there are some fantastic players in the region.”

Rovers finished the season in fourth place, with goal difference separating them and Peamount who occupied third place. Kearney, however, says that the table was not his main focus for the year.

“I didn’t spend too much time worrying about results or the table, for me I was looking at the longer term future of the club. My focus was to spend the time developing our players for the long term. We had to be realistic about our ambitions, we had a young squad with only five who will be over-age for next season and then I think we have 11 still underage for the 2020 season in two year’s time. So this season was the start of their journey getting used to playing at this level and using this experience to push on in their development individually and as a group in season two/three to hopefully playing senior football with Rovers.”

He will only have positive memories from his time at the helm of the Bit O’Red Under 17 girls, but there are a couple of days that will remain precious memories for him.

“That very first game we had with Peamount away is a positive memory that all who helped made this happen. Everyone will remember for a long time that feeling of seeing a Sligo Rovers Women’s team run out on a pitch as a National League club for the first time and then the first home game against Galway with the Live Your Goals Festival with 250 young girls taking part in that and then seeing that they too can aspire to play for Sligo Rovers in the future.”

Players within the squad have developed hugely as the season went on, and he feels that the hard work is all made worthwhile when you look on and see how far your players have come.

“It’s been one of my most enjoyable experiences in football, working with the group of players we had and seeing how much they have developed over the season. Great work has been done locally in the region at all these girls club’s in Sligo/Leitrim/Mayo as well as with the Emerging Talent League centres to provide a pathway for these girls. Anyone who has seen any of our games this year would have seen some of the outstanding talents within the squad. Sligo Rovers are providing the next step for them to challenge themselves at the highest level then against the best of the best elsewhere and they players learn so much from that playing at that level week after week. Some players adapted really quickly while others grew in confidence as the season went on, overall the players and their parents must take great credit for how they conducted themselves this season as it is a big commitment to play at this level but then the progression of these girls hopefully makes it all worthwhile.

“I am gutted I am not in a position to continue the good work we started but the potential of this group and the club as a whole is massive and it will be a great opportunity to whoever comes into the role next. The coaching staff around me all contributed so much to me as well as the players and I would like to thank each of them for the time and effort they put in over the course of the season.”

The club’s step into women’s football has been greeted with a huge amount of positivity, and Kearney says that the Under 17 league in general has been a massive step in the right direction for women’s football in the country.

“This has been a huge step forward in the right direction not just for our region but across the country in women’s football. The game is growing in terms of numbers, slowly women’s sport is getting more exposure, there is still a long way to go but it is moving in the right direction. Things like the U17 WNL is a big step in providing opportunities for our elite players to move onto beyond the Gaynor Cup and for players who have ambitions to push themselves on this is where they should be aiming for.

“In the North-West it was great to see not just a Sligo Rovers team but also Donegal League as well as this level. Players in this this region have lost out in the past due to lack of structures. Even looking at the senior WNL league, there are clubs from Galway across to the middle of the country to Dublin, there is no senior club in the northern half of country. So the U17’s is only the start of the ambitions for Sligo Rovers, hopefully they can push on and meet one of their original targets in their last strategic plan to have a senior WNL set up for 2020. There is exciting times ahead for women’s football and I am glad to say Sligo Rovers will be part of that.”

Sligo Rovers would like to place on record their thanks to Damon Kearney for his commitment, dedication, professionalism and hard work, in what was an historic year for the club. Damon’s contribution to the club has been invaluable.

Team news for Dundalk game

Sligo Rovers travel to Dundalk on Friday for an SSE Airtricity Premier Division clash at Oriel Park.

The Bit O’Red will be managed by Under-19 boss Brian Dorrian for our final away game of the season.

In team news, Caolan McAleer is suspended. Lee Lynch returns from illness. Gary Boylan is out with an ACL injury.

Dorrian said: “It hasn’t been an easy week of course. Gerard was very good to me and our Under-19 players. He wished the squad well and me personally for these matches and I think that says a lot about him.

“The team have trained for the last few days and we’ve prepared for it in a professional manner after the parting of ways.

“We have to move on and do ourselves justice for these three matches because this group has worked hard all season in order to do their best for the club, the management team and themselves. That is really what these matches are about.

“It’s an honour for me of course and I’m happy to help out the club. But it’s about these players. They will play the best team in the country and I know they can compete well with them and test them. We did that the last time in Oriel Park and in The Showgrounds where 2-0 was not a reflection of the game.

“We’ve a young squad with a lot of talent and over this season they have developed. On Friday I’d like them to go out and show what they are about. It’s not going to be easy. There’ll be a huge focus on Dundalk where they are getting ready to lift a trophy.

“We’re coming to show why there is a bright future for our club and why the person that takes over here is going to come into a good situation with a lot to work with.”