Match Preview: Rovers host UCD on Saturday

Sligo Rovers host UCD on Saturday night at The Showgrounds in the 11th game of the 2023 SSE Airtricity Men’s Premier Division.

UCD picked up their first win of the season last weekend with a 1-0 defeat of Cork City at home, with Rovers drawing 1-1 at home to Drogheda United 24 hours later.

A Max Mata hattrick meant Rovers won the return game 3-2 back in February at The UCD Bowl.

Manager John Russell looks ahead to another home game on Saturday night:

‘’We are all looking forward to another home game on Saturday night in front of a packed Showgrounds.

‘’UCD will be coming down full of confidence after their win last week against Cork City so we need to be ready for what is a massive game’’.

The game kicks off at 7.45pm and the club are welcoming Ukrainian Families to The Showgrounds for the game. There will be around 250 in attendance at the game with various plans in place for them to enjoy their Showgrounds experience for the first time.

We also welcome back members of our 1983 FAI Cup winning team as guests of honour at the game. The squad will be welcomed onto the pitch at half-time in front of the Bit O’ Red Supporters.

Russell expects this to add to the atmosphere at the game and calls on the home supporters to once again get behind the team from the start:

‘’I have such belief in our group of players. They have shown really good signs so far this season. We know the areas we need to improve on but it’s vital that we continue to impose our style and our game on the opposition.

‘’I am delighted to hear that members of the 1983 cup winning team will be in attendance on Saturday night. I want our current players to put on a performance that they and the supporters can be proud of’’.

In team news, Johan Brannefalk’s return from an ankle injury was welcome as he got minutes against Drogheda United last weekend.

Eanna Clancy and Bogdan Vastsuk remain sidelined along with long-term absentees Karl O’ Sullivan, Garry Buckley, Mark Byrne and Gary Boylan.

Gates open at 6.30pm and tickets are available on the turnstiles or online at