INTERSPORT Elverys become official retail partner

Sligo Rovers can today announce INTERSPORT Elverys as the club’s official retail partner as the Bit O’ Red prepare to unveil their largest ever new merchandise range.

The partnership will see INTERSPORT Elverys stock Sligo Rovers official merchandise, training and leisure wear items in their Sligo store, providing the club with a retail presence in the locality seven days a week.

INTERSPORT Elverys is located in the Johnston Court Shopping Centre in Sligo. All items will also be available on elverys.ie and the online club store srfcdirect.com.

A brand-new range of JOMA Sport training and leisure wear will be available to mark the commencement of the partnership with INTERSPORT Elverys, with all items available from Friday morning in store in Sligo and online from 9.30am.

INTERSPORT Elverys is a recognised market leader and innovator in sports retail and our retail network in the Irish market now stands at 51 stores, with a fully integrated omnichannel strategy. And a member of INTERSPORT – a vertical retail organization with over 6,000 retail stores in 57 countries.

With access to all the leading sports brands, along with an understanding of our local customer like no other, they are able to provide the best advice and value for those who are passionate about sport and fitness at all levels.

INTERSPORT Elverys have a steadfast tradition in backing sport at all levels, from grass roots events and organisations to elite teams and athletes.

In recent seasons the growth in popularity of Sligo Rovers merchandise has been considerable, demonstrating the popularity of the JOMA Sport range and the loyalty and commitment of Bit O’ Red fans to the club.

The new collection of t-shirts, polo shirts, hoodies, ¼ zips and jackets are likely to prove extremely popular in store, as well as home and away jerseys which will also be stocked.

Sligo Rovers chief executive Colin Feehily said: “It has been very pleasing to see the popularity of club merchandise grow and the satisfaction of our supporters.

“While we’ve seen that growth, one aspect missing was a permanent retail outlet for the club in Sligo and in INTERSPORT Elverys we have found the ideal partner.

“The pandemic changed many habits but at Sligo Rovers we believe in supporting our local community and to value the retail presence we have in the region.

“INTERSPORT Elverys will provide us with all the elements we seek through their excellent store in Sligo.

“I hope all our fans enjoy the new JOMA Sport range. Every season we are seeing more and more Sligo Rovers merchandise being purchased at home and all over the world. This new partnership with INTERSPORT Elverys will help maximise that potential further.”

Jimmy Staunton, chairman of INTERSPORT Elverys, said: “INTERSPORT Elverys are delighted to partner with Sligo Rovers FC.

“It offers a fantastic opportunity that fits into our already diverse portfolio, which includes partnerships with the FAI, IRFU, Connacht Rugby, Mayo GAA, Dublin GAA to name just a few.”

Preview: Buckley wants Rovers to seize moment

Sligo Rovers face Drogheda United on Friday night in the SSE Airtricity Premier Division in The Showgrounds.

The third place Bit O’ Red go in search of a first win of the season over United – the Boynesiders are one of just two sides Rovers have failed to earn three points against this season.

The most recent meeting was a 0-0 draw in Head in the Game Park.

Johnny Kenny scored one of his eight goals this season in the previous game in Drogheda, while the Showgrounds meeting ended in 2-1 win for the away side.

The Showgrounds will be at full capacity for the first time in over 18 months with restrictions eased. Match tickets are available at turnstiles.

In team news, Shane Blaney could make the squad after recovering from a foot injury. Greg Bolger returns from a two-game ban.

Liam Buckley said: “We met on Sunday morning as a group and talked about the game in Finn Park on the Saturday night. Over the course of the 90 minutes we were in control for 85 of them, we dropped too deep and invited the pressure onto ourselves at the end of the game.  

“Mark McGinley made a number of saves from Adam, Walter and Johnny as well as us scoring the two goals. We spoke about that we cannot change what happened, we can learn from it and use it going forward. It’s done with and we have to move on. As a team it was a decent performance on a difficult night and a heavy pitch which both sides had to deal with and what we can take from it is to remember what cost us and the positives of the performance earlier in the game.

“The results in the last week were typical of what the league has been and in this game we could open up a seven-point lead on Drogheda or have it reduced to one. Every game has a three points at stake which makes a big difference and as I’ve said from early on the teams are so well matched. We’ve created this position for ourselves. We’re still in that third place and Drogheda are one of the teams looking to chase us down.

“For the players these are games to look forward to and to really relish. I want them to play with an excitement rather than any other feeling. There is the opportunity for us in this game and the ones to come so that is how it should be looked at. I want them to use that in how we play.

“I feel for the supporters, of course, because I know what it means to everyone here and the work that goes into the club, but we’re still up there and a win can make all the difference. We’re ready for the game and we’re looking forward to be back in front of our home supporters again.”

Garry Buckley signs two-year contract

Garry Buckley has signed a new two-year contract with Sligo Rovers, the club are delighted to announce today.

The 28-year-old is already in his second season at the club and has become a big favourite at The Showgrounds.

Now operating at centre-half, Buckley has been a mainstay in the Rovers side which finished fourth place last season and currently occupy third spot with five matches left this campaign.

He has formed a partnership with John Mahon at centre-half and they are set to be team-mates with the Bit O’ Red next year after Buckley put pen to paper this morning.

Buckley said: “There’s no other place I’d rather be than at Sligo Rovers. I have total trust in the club and management staff and I’ve signed for two years because I want to win things. I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t.

“I said it when I first signed that I saw the potential here. I feel we’ve progressed. I know myself that you build teams over time. I’ve won trophies before and I know it’s a building process.

“From living in Sligo I can see the people feel hungry for it. I can only imagine what would happen here if we brought that success. Qualifying for Europe last year was a big deal to everyone and we’re in a place now that we can do that again and improve on our league position.

“When I signed here I said I needed a fresh start. It went better than I thought if I’m totally honest.  I’m really attached to the area and very happy off the pitch. On the pitch I really enjoy playing in this team and the building I’m talking about is there to see. Taking it to the next level is the target and over the next five games we can improve on last season and get back to Europe. It’s the chance we want to take.”

Reflecting on the second part of the season being more difficult and how Rovers can change it, he added: “There’s no doubt it’s been tough. We have to keep working hard. You can’t throw the toys out of the pram and give up. I think we were down players at important times. We’re still in there. At the start of the season we’d have taken this position without doubt. You have to live in the moment and we’re here now and we should all remember that. We’ve got some big games coming up and we know it’s in our hands so we’ll give it our all.”

Buckley’s partnership with John Mahon has received considerable praise this season.

The Cork man admits the relationship is one of the aspects he appreciates in being at the club.

“We complement each other so well. I think the best of John’s game is the my weaker parts and the best of mine is John’s weaker parts and together it’s been great. The entire back four has been the same and Ed has been superb as well. I’m hoping it will continue and I’m really looking forward to playing with the lads in the future.”

Liam Buckley said: “Garry is a proper footballer. He played a lot of career in midfield and I think he has excelled at centre-half.

“He’s a great leader and for me he’s undoubtedly one of the best in the league as a defender and a player.

“It is important you’re happy where you are in terms of where you play football and I think Garry is very settled here.

“Most of all we want players in the dressing-room who can manage the expectation here and it’s an expectation of winning. He’s a real winner and a top player and he will be a major asset in the years to come.”

Academy Weekend Review – October 24th

Four games took place across the weekend with both male and female Under 17 & Under 19 teams in action.

Our Under 17 men’s team hosted Cavan Monaghan on Saturday at The Sean Fallon Centre knowing a win was required to have any chance of progressing to the Semi-Final.

The team did their bit winning 6-0 with two goals from Michael Clifford and a goal each from Shane Rooney, Conor Cannon, Aaron Heaney and Daire McCarthy. This meant Rovers would need a favour from Finn Harps against UCD however it wasn’t to be as The Dubliners won 6-4 in Donegal and secured second spot in the group.

Our Under 17 women’s team travelled to UCD to take on DLR Waves in a game they needed to draw to secure a Semi-Final spot. The girls gave it their all but ended up losing 3-0 on the day, meaning their season came to an end, finishing in third place.

On Sunday afternoon our Under 19 men’s team faced St Patrick’s Athletic in Dublin. The lads were in top spot going into the game against The Saints, who had just returned from their UEFA Youth League exit during the week. The home team were clinical in front of goal and ran out 3-0 winners.

Our women’s Under 19 team hosted Bohemian FC at The Sean Fallon Centre in their league Semi-Final. A large crowd were in attendance in what promised to be an entertaining game. The away side led 1-0 at half-time in a tight and cagey affair with both teams having chances. Bohs scored twice in the second half to secure a spot in the Final on a scoreline of 3-0.

Well done to all the squad and management of our Under 17 men’s and Under 19 women’s teams on their commitment throughout the season and a big thanks also to the families of all the players for their support. Their season’s are now finished and can look ahead to a break before coming back for more in 2022.

Ticket details: Drogheda at home on Friday night

There will no capacity restriction at The Showgrounds for the first time in 18 months as Sligo Rovers play two matches at home in SSE Airtricity Premier Division matches in the next week.

Pre-booking seats in the main stand will no longer be necessary.

The stadium will be open seating. Away fans will be in the Jinks Avenue Stand as normal.

Fixtures:

  • Friday 29 October, Sligo Rovers v Drogheda United, The Showgrounds, 7:45pm
  • Monday 1 November, Sligo Rovers v Longford Town, The Showgrounds, 7.45pm

SEASON PACK HOLDERS

Season Pack holders must bring your season pack booklet and present one ticket at the turnstiles.

If your season pack has expired with no vouchers remaining, you can pay cash at turnstiles. The main stand will be open for all fans on a first come basis.

These are two of the final three home games left this season. If you still have tickets remaining in your pack, any remaining match passes can be used in 2022.

Tickets can be removed from the pack and given to friends or family for this season if desired.

GENERAL SALE FOR HOME FANS

All other home fans can gain entry by paying cash at turnstiles. There will be no online sale prior to the game for home supporters – they can purchase tickets at turnstiles with cash.

AWAY FANS

Away fans of both Drogheda United and Longford Town can buy tickets at the away entrance.

Away fans will be situated in the usual away section, in sections T, U and V of the Jinks Avenue Stand.

Preview: Buckley rallies Rovers ahead of Harps

Sligo Rovers face Finn Harps on Saturday night in the SSE Airtricity Premier Division in Finn Park as the Bit O’ Red face their north-west rivals.

Rovers sit in third place in the table and secured two wins over Harps this year, 2-1 in Ballybofey and 1-0 in The Showgrounds.

Johnny Kenny scored his first senior goal against Harps in that Showgrounds success, while Harps earned a single-goal success in Sligo

In team news, Niall Morahan returns from suspension while Greg Bolger serves the second of a two-game ban.

Robbie McCourt has recovered from a neck problem which forced him off during the 2-0 defeat to Shamrock Rovers last time out.

Colm Horgan is doubtful with a calf problem and will be tested pre-game, but the match comes too soon for Shane Blaney.

Liam Buckley: “It’s about results at this stage of the season. The race is hotting up, we don’t know if fourth is good enough or third but we do know we have to get a win to get us going. That’s what we care about on Saturday night and Finn Harps are in the exact same boat.

“It’s going to go right to the wire as expected, just like last season. Last season we were in a situation where we dug in and won games late in the season to get us fourth place.

“In the position we’re in now, which is third place and it’s important it’s remembered that we are in that position, we can look back at the end of the season on these six games and wonder did we just let it slip by or we can dig in and get the results we need.

“We’ve shown we can do it with the wins we’ve had this season. The results and some performances have not been what is needed recently and there is no one is more disappointed than us by that. We’re all fully aware of the situation in competing for the European spots and what comes with it.  

“We’re in this position with the six games, starting on Saturday night, and we’ll go to Finn Park looking to get the win. That’s what counts now.

“Robbie is back in training, as is Shane Blaney, but I don’t think he will be ready for this one. We have to check on Colm over a calf strain, while Greg is suspended. Niall Morahan comes back in which will help us and we go there with getting the win our focus and the race we’re in.”

Academy Weekend Preview – October 22nd

This weekend sees our Mens and Womens Under 17 & 19 teams all in action across Saturday and Sunday.

On Saturday, Our Under 17 women travel to Dublin to take on DLR Waves at 3pm on The UCD Sports Campus. With the team already qualified for the League Semi-Final, a point will guarantee top spot in the group against the second placed Dubliners. The sides played out a highly entertaining three all draw in the return game at The Showgrounds.

At 2pm our Under 17 mens team host Cavan/Monaghan at The Sean Fallon Centre. The lads are third in the league table going into the game, with the visitors behind them on goal difference.

Qualification for the Semi-Finals are still up for grabs. A win for Rovers along with defeat for UCD against Finn Harps would see The Bit O’ Red leap frog the College into second place. If UCD draw, Rovers will need to win by three goals or more in order to advance.

On Sunday, our Under 19 Women’s team host Bohemian FC in the League Semi-Final. This promises to be a great occasion for the squad who will play at home on The Sean Fallon Centre at 2pm. The sides drew earlier in the season however Rovers picked up the three points as the away side unfortunately played an ineligble player on the day.

Rovers go into the game having topped the original group and finished off last weekend with a 3-2 win over Carlow/Kilkenny.

Admission is free and we encourage all supporters to come out and get behind the team.

Our Under 19 men’s team also play on Sunday at 2pm in a massive group game against St Patrick’s Athletic. The Saints are just returning from their UEFA Youth League defeat to Crvena Zvezda during the week. Rovers lost to Bohemian FC last time out and need a result to remain on top of the group going into the last two games. The game takes place in Tolka Rovers ground in Dublin.

Kids Birthday Parties Back In The Showgrounds

We are delighted to announce that children’s birthday parties will be back in The Showgrounds from the end of the season.

Bookings are now being taken from November 26th.

Each party lasts for two hours, which includes a tour of the stadium, one hour of football with a senior player, hot food supplied by Supermacs, full use of our clubhouse and much much more!

The cost is €15 per child and a minimum of 10 children must attend.

For more information or to book a party, please email Shane@sligorovers.com.

Taoiseach meets with Rovers chairman

An Taoiseach Micheál Martin has met with Sligo Rovers chairman Tommy Higgins, with the €17m masterplan discussed and presented.

Sligo County Council chief executive Martin Lydon and chairman of the Bit O’ Red Higgins presented the plan to the Taoiseach and updated him on the background of the plans.

Higgins said: “In recent days we have spoken with Minister Catherine Martin and Taoiseach Micheál Martin. It is important to raise awareness of the masterplan as we look to bring it to fruition and we were delighted to speak with the Government officials on our vision for academy and senior football in the north-west

“We have been in dialogue with Sligo County Council who have been very supportive in these discussions. We will look to provide supporters with a further update when we can.

“As mentioned at the launch of the masterplan, this is not something we put on a shelf and wait for things to happen. We are seeking to bring elements of the plan to action as soon as possible.”

Academy Weekend Review – October 17th

Both of our women’s teams took centre stage at the Showgrounds on Saturday and Sunday as our four male academy sides had the weekend off. Two fantastic days saw ten goals scored across two games, five in each, as Rovers won by the odd goal in both and booked their respective places in the Shield Semi-Finals.

After tasting defeat for the first time in seven games last time out, our WU17s bounced back to beat Greystones United 3-2 on Saturday afternoon at the Sean Fallon Centre. Having won 2-0 in Dublin three weeks ago, Rovers completed a league double over United to ensure qualification for the Semi-Finals with one game to spare. Orna Murphy struck first and Jessica Casey’s brace secured the three points and kept us top of the table by that same margin. We face DLR Waves (2nd on 7pts) in the final group game next weekend needing just a draw to guarantee top spot while that result might not be enough for our opponents as they could yet be overtaken by Greystones or Athlone Town. Finishing first would mean home advantage for the Semi-Final so there’s plenty for us still to play for.

Twenty-Four hours later and it was the WU19s turn to celebrate. Goals from Sarah Kiernan, Kate Nugent and Helen Monaghan helped Rovers to a 3-2 win over Carlow/Kilkenny at the Sean Fallon Centre. It was our 5th win in the 6th and final group game and assured us of 1st place as we finished three points clear of Donegal in second. The result also means Rovers will have the advantage of hosting the Semi-Final at the Showgrounds. Bohemians will be our opponents after they beat Bray 4-0 yesterday to take the runners-up spot in Group B. Hopefully the result will be the same as it was on June 27th of this year when the sides last met in the First League phase, Rovers running out 3-0 winners on that occasion.

Richard Mullan