Chairman and academy chief welcome Feeney appointment

Sligo Rovers chairman Tommy Higgins has welcomed the appointment of Steve Feeney to the role of women’s manager.

Feeney has been recruited from Ballinamallard to be in charge of the side and will shortly build a backroom team.

The Rovers CEO has heralded the appointment amid an exciting time for the women’s game.

“Steve is greatly admired in football in Sligo and I believe this is a wonderful appointment for the club.

“The position is a coveted one – a historic first senior women’s manager of Sligo Rovers – and in Steve we have a respected figure who is already a hugely talented coach. He has experience of several years at Ballinamallard and their disappointment in losing him speaks volumes about what a great acquisition it is for Sligo Rovers.

“This is a first managerial step for Steve and while we understand the job is going to take a lot of work in these early years, we will support him in whatever way we can.

“Steve’s remit as he takes on the job will simply be to develop the team, transition the players into senior football and be competitive. Conor O’Grady will work with Steve and the academy coaches as they grow the female side of the club. The potential is enormous and our players now have what we believe will be a fantastic manager.”

Watch Steve Feeney’s first interview as Sligo Rovers manager

Sligo Rovers head of academy Conor O’Grady will liase with Feeney, along with CEO Colin Feehily, as they develop the side.

Sligo Rovers head of academy Conor O’Grady: “When I joined the club as head of academy and I spoke to Colin Feehily and the committee about coaches I think would excel at the club, Steve was right up there at the top of the list.

“The position of women’s manager has materialised and I think Steve is the perfect candidate so I’m delighted he has taken the role.

“In the coming days and weeks, both Steve and I and the academy coaches will be covering every base on how we grow the player pool for the senior team. That will include some academy players stepping up to senior obviously and overall I want the pathway of Aaron O’Connor to Darragh Healy to Steve Feeney, ie Under-17 to Senior, joining up together.

“That will start from the very first days and continue forever more. 

“I’ve known Steve for a long time as a player in Sligo and we spent a lot of time together with Ballinamallard as well. He’s very intelligent and a deep thinker as a person and a coach. He will fit naturally into the club and his manner will be perfect for the role and especially at the stage we’re at.

“Expectations need to be sensible early on. There will be hard days and our academy girls have done so well since joining the WNL in the last couple of years. We should be very proud of that. The step up to senior is a very different level as you’re facing international players in many games.

“It will take time and as a club we’ll take on the tough early days and keep in mind our overall goal to have a very competitive Sligo Rovers team. It may take several years to grow to where we want to be  one day – down the line – and I stress that it will take that time period – challenging amongst the most experienced sides in the country.

“I look forward to working with Steve and linking the academy and senior side for the betterment of football all over the region.”