Donelon signs new Rovers contract

Regan Donelon has signed a new contract with Sligo Rovers for the 2021 campaign.

The 24-year-old made his first-team debut in 2014 having previously been an academy player.

Donelon has been an important player for Rovers and will begin his eighth season as a senior squad member next month.

Donelon said: “It’s great to sign again. We have a lot of exciting things in front of us, like European football, and by the looks of it, there’s a very good squad being put together this year.

“Everyone pulled together last season. In pre-season I had what was a freak accident really and injured my shoulder. When the league was halted, it allowed me to strengthen up a bit then and recover from the injury.

“I was able to kick on then when it did restart. We all know we needed to win games because of the position we were in. The final few weeks of the season, Liam and Russ kept us right and they were telling us we were in the mix and to keep believing we could do it. The final game against Dundalk, it just felt like we were going well and it worked out. It was a great finish to the year.

“The squad is going to be better. The new competition will be good to improve the team. We’d like to go one better in the FAI Cup and maybe get to a final. Fourth place was good last year and with the ambition here and the group we have signed, we have to be aiming to improve on that as well.”

As Rovers prepare for Europe, Donelon is one of the few players still at the club from our last outing in 2014.

“I was with the Under-19s and John Coleman brought me into the squad for the game in Lithuania and then Rosenberg. I didn’t play but to be part of the experience was brilliant. It has stayed with me so now to finally be there again, it’s exciting. It’s something we are looking at this season, winning a tie is something we are definitely going to target and then see how far we can go.”

Liam Buckley has welcome another important addition to his squad: “We were in negotiations with Regan for quite a while and I’m delighted that a deal has been done. There was no question he was in our plans throughout. He’s a top player, technically very good.

“He did well for us last year, I think he played 12 of the 14 games when the league did resume and he made an important contribution. We wanted him here. I also see Regan being able to play further up the pitch which we’ve done before.

“We have plenty of options now. As I said before, getting through pre-season and avoiding injuries is important for us. That was difficult last year especially at the start. We have a good deal of versatility as well which is a help. I do feel the group we have is strong.”

Buckley has not ruled out further recruitment: “We are very close to completing the group. There is still the possibility we could add another player, we’ll see where that goes. We’re happy with the players we’ve brought in so far.”

Under contract at Sligo Rovers for 2021 so far:

Ed McGinty, Richard Brush, Luke McNicholas (on loan at Finn Harps), Lewis Banks, Garry Buckley, John Mahon, Shane Blaney, Regan Donelon, Robbie McCourt, Colm Horgan, David Cawley, Greg Bolger, Niall Morahan, Ryan De Vries, Mark Byrne, Romeo Parkes, Walter Figueira, Johnny Kenny, Jordan Gibson,