Kenny transfers to Celtic

Sligo Rovers can confirm an agreement has been reached with Celtic for the transfer of striker Johnny Kenny.

The 18-year-old, a product of the club’s renowned academy which has developed over a third of the current first-team squad, was the top scorer for the Bit O’ Red in his debut professional season.

He netted 11 times in the SSE Airtricity League, as well as once in the Europa Conference game against FH of Iceland, and helped the club finish in third place in the league to secure consecutive European qualifications.

The agreement with Celtic includes an undisclosed transfer fee, plus additional future-based terms.

A statement on behalf of the club’s management committee: “Following the conclusion of a period of negotiation with Celtic, the terms for the transfer of Johnny Kenny have been agreed to the satisfaction of Sligo Rovers.

“Johnny has made a noteworthy contribution to Sligo Rovers in just one season as a senior professional, helping the club secure European football again and establishing what is now a tradition of the Kenny family thrilling our supporters.

“We would like to acknowledge the work of his former club Arrow Harps FC for their role in Johnny’s development and the coaches within our academy who nurtured his game for four years until promotion to the first-team exactly 12 months ago.

“We will continue to evolve and invest in the Sligo Rovers Academy with our philosophy of creating a regional hub for footballers in the north-west, Connacht and beyond.

“As we build towards the new first-team season, our intention is to ensure our progress on the pitch is maintained.”

Sligo Rovers manager Liam Buckley said: “Johnny has been magnificent for Sligo Rovers. At a very young age he showed all the attributes to make a successful career in the game and he can take great pride in what he has already achieved in these very early days.

“It was clear a move would occur at some point and as it comes now, all of our staff, players and coaches wish him the very best. He retains our support whenever needed.

“The focus on first-team squad investment has not been altered. We have over 20 players under contract as pre-season begins and finishing off the squad is the priority of all. We will speak more on this in time. For now we congratulate Johnny and look forward to preparing for the 2022 season.”