Cawley signs long-term deal as duo turn pro

David Cawley has signed a new two and-a-half year contract with Sligo Rovers, while Niall Morahan and Luke McNicholas have signed until the end of next season in their first professional deals.

Midfielder Cawley has penned a contract until the end of the 2020 season.

The former league winner joined for a second spell with the club for this year and had impressed throughout, producing some of the best form of his career.

Morahan, from Leitrim, joined the Rovers Under-17 side from Carrick Town, and also played for Strand Celtic. He was our Under-17 Player of the Year in 2017.

He has graduated to the Under-19s and become captain, and has been on the bench for the senior team this year.

McNicholas joined Rovers from Manulla to be part of our Under-17 team and is a Republic of Ireland Under-18 and schoolboy international. Performances on international level in particular has stood out for another great prospect.

With both players having finished their Leaving Cert, they now commence full-time training with the Bit O’ Red for the next year and a half at least on professional contracts.

David Cawley said: “There is always a bit of pressure when you come back to a club, particularly given there was success last time.

“I’ve been really pleased with how it has gone so far on a personal level. I’m really enjoying my football and this is the club I love being at more than any other. This is a great for stability for myself, my family and I don’t have to worry about contracts for the next two years, I can focus completely on my football.

“I’ve had some difficult experiences but like anything in life you become that bit older and wiser and focused. I keep my head down and do my job and I’m the extra voice in the dressing-room when it’s needed.

“I’ve built up a good understanding with Rhys McCabe and now Lee Lynch has come in too. I get on great with Lee off the pitch and we’ve kind of always had an understanding. It’s an energetic midfield that I think is quite strong.

“I don’t think we’re a million miles off a higher level as a team. There’s a better understanding in the team now. We need to climb the table and move away from where we are. There’s also the possibility of a Cup final and a Cup run to come.

“I get on really well with Gerard. He’s an ambitious young manager. He’s a great communicator I find and he has a vision for the club.

“We’re going the right way about things. It’s not an overnight job but I’m signing this contract today knowing that I want the club to be challenging at the other end of the table during this spell. It’s where a club like this should be.”

“At the testimonial match last week, I think it all put the era of success the club had in our minds given so many people from that time were there. Why would you not want that again? That’s the question everyone should ask. And the new lads here probably saw the way those players get looked at and how they are thought of by the fans. It’s up to us to bring the club back towards those times. I’m delighted my future is here and I want to keep going in a positive direction.”

Gerard Lyttle said: “I think everyone would agree David has been one of, if not, our best player this season. He has done his talking on the pitch. He’s a very good footballer and has been so consistent. David is a quiet lad but his displays on the pitch show a maturity and we’ve benefited so much from his return to the club.

“He deserves this contract. The club are excellent at rewarding the players. It is thinking ahead. We don’t want one-year deal and renegotiating at a certain point every year. The players that perform on a consistent basis will reap the benefits. The proof is there with the actions of the club.

“We will hopefully sit down with one or two players soon. Our priority is getting points on the board first and foremost. It’s up the players to show how much they want to be here. David has been rewarded today by his desire to succeed with Sligo Rovers.”

Meanwhile, the club can also confirm that Adam Morgan has left club today to focus on recovery from long-term injury.

Lyttle said: “It’s come to the stage where Adam’s next contribution would be towards the latter end of our season, as he needs a rest period to recover from the abdominal problem.”There isn’t an exact timeframe when that would be, it’s just the nature of that injury, so we’ve come to an agreement that for all parties it’s best he heads back home permanently to focus on his recovery.

“It’s a shame for all of us. But I think it’s the right move for him and the club. He can’t rush it and it’s the business end of our season.

“We thank him for his contribution here and wish him well in his future.”