McDonnell pens extended deal

Adam McDonnell has signed a contract extension with Sligo Rovers for the 2022 season, the club are delighted to announce today.

The midfielder joined from Boreham Wood in the summer and has made 16 appearances, going on to become a regular in the Rovers side.

McDonnell scored his first goal for the club in the 3-0 win over St Patrick’s Athletic as the Bit O’ Red sealed a place in Europe.

He has signed a new deal today to follow Greg Bolger, Garry Buckley, Colm Horgan, Johnny Kenny and Robbie McCourt in doing so in recent weeks.

McDonnell said: “When I signed last summer I had offers elsewhere in Ireland including in Dublin and coming here just felt right. I knew in the first three days that I was going to enjoy it, even by just being in training.

“It’s the happiest I’ve been in years in football. There are quality players here and the decision to come here last summer has been one of the best I’ve ever made.

“We’re in Europe next year with an unbelievable core group of players.

“The gaffer gives us a freedom to play and to express yourself. I’m happy with what we’ve done in finishing third but 100% there’s more to come from me. With a pre-season under my belt I feel you’ll see the best of me”

McDonnell made two appearances in his first week at the club despite joining when he had finished his previous season two months earlier. Rovers were down a number of players at the time.

“Coming in mid-season and having not played a lot, it does take time but I liked that I was part of it straight away. That’s what I needed. I felt good but with that pre-season next year I really think I’ll be all the better for it.

“I made my debut in the European game and then had to bide my time.  I was loving being in every day and being around the lads. The lads made me welcome straight away. When I joined it was probably when things started to turn with injuries and other stuff so I felt like a bad luck charm!

“The gaffer was the calmest man in Sligo and he kept wanting us to have winning in mind. He’s put faith in me and I love playing with the likes of Greg Bolger, Niall Morahan, David Cawley. Greg put his arm around me straight away when I joined and helped me settle in. I’ve learned things off Greg and I’ve tried to help him as well. We all get along well as a group. It’s just about keeping the head down now and what we want to achieve.

“Being back in Ireland has been great. My friends and family have come down to Sligo regularly and they love coming here too. We’ve got the big game on Friday and then it’s about pre-season. I’m sure the gaffer will be adding to the players already signed and we want that competition. Whoever comes in will have to be quality because the lads here have shown how good they are. I was looking at the Player of the Year list and you see what unbelievable players we have and there’s more not there too who have done well.”

While McDonnell has relished being at the club, and the outcome of the season, the exits from Europe and the FAI Cup in the first days at the club have left some regrets.

“We still talk about the European tie in the dressing-room and the FAI Cup as well. We haven’t forgotten it if we’re honest. That’s something we want to improve upon next year and in the league as well if we can.

“The game on Friday is going to be great to be part of as well. The people and the fans here have been so good to me since I’ve come in so I hope they all come out. Even around the town everyone wishes you well and welcomes you to the area and when you move to somewhere new it’s really nice.

“I’m really happy to stay here and with how the time has gone and I’m excited by what we can do next season.”

Liam Buckley said: “Adam has come in during the middle of the season to big pressure games and he’s acquitted himself brilliantly.

“It’s not easy coming in during the summer and we needed to call on him quickly.  He’s a real footballer and as a midfielder he offers a lot both defensively and offensively. I’m very happy he is committing for next season because in a full season I feel Adam will be even more of an asset.

“He’s earned it, he’s become part of the group with ease and he’ll be a big player for us.”