2019 fixtures announced

The fixtures for the 2019 SSE Airtricity League were announced this week.

Rovers will begin away to champions Dundalk on Friday 15 February.

The first home game is Friday 22 February against St Patrick’s Athletic

FebruaryFri. 15DundalkA
FebruaryFri. 22St. Patrick’s AthleticH
FebruaryMon. 25Cork CityH
MarchFri. 1Finn Harps A
MarchSat. 9U.C.D.H
MarchFri. 15Shamrock RoversA
MarchSat. 23WaterfordH
MarchFri. 29Derry CityA
AprilSat. 6BohemiansH
AprilSat. 13DundalkH
AprilFri. 19St. Patrick’s AthleticA
AprilMon. 22Cork CityA
AprilFri. 26Finn Harps H
AprilMon. 29U.C.D.A
MaySat. 4Shamrock RoversH
MaySat. 11WaterfordA
MaySat. 18Derry CityH
MayTues. 21WaterfordH
MayFri. 24BohemiansA
MayFri. 31DundalkA
JuneSat. 8St. Patrick’s AthleticH
JuneFri. 14Cork CityH
JuneFri. 28Finn Harps A
JulyMon. 1U.C.D.H
JulyFri. 5Shamrock RoversA
JulyFri. 19Derry CityA
JulySat. 27BohemiansH
AugustSat. 3DundalkH
AugustFri. 16St. Patrick’s AthleticA
AugustFri. 30Cork CityA
SeptemberSat. 14Finn Harps H
SeptemberFri. 20U.C.D.A
OctoberSat. 5Shamrock RoversH
OctoberFri. 11WaterfordA
OctoberSat. 19Derry CityH
OctoberFri. 25BohemiansA

McGinty helps Rovers to fine first night

Ed McGinty produced a man of the match performance for Sligo Rovers as we held Dundalk 1-1 on Oriel Park on Friday night in the SSE Airtricity Premier Division.

Rovers were under pressure for large parts of the game but an inspired McGinty saved a Patrick Hoban penalty and made several fine save.

Jack Keaney scored the Rovers goal with a 30-yard free-kick that was accurate and well-struck to deceive Gary Rogers.

Sean Murray’s goal meant the game finished level.

Next up is St Patrick’s Athletic in The Showgrounds on Friday.

DUNDALK: Gary Rogers; Sean Gannon, Brian Gartland, Sean Hoare, Dane Massey; Chris Shields, Robbie Benson (Sean Murray 10); John Mountney (Daniel Kelly 74), Patrick McEleney (Georgie Kelly 83), Michael Duffy; Patrick Hoban.

SLIGO ROVERS: Edward McGinty; John Dunleavy, John Mahon, Dante Leverock, Regan Donelon; Kyle Callan-McFadden, Jack Keaney; Kris Twardek, Daryl Fordyce (Niall Morahan 83), Liam Kerrigan (Ronan Coughlan 87); Romeo Parkes.

REFEREE: Rob Harvey.

Team news for Dundalk game

Sligo Rovers face Dundalk on Friday night in the opening game of the SSE Airtricity Premier Division at Oriel Park, kick-off 7:45pm.

It will be 112 days since Liam Buckley was appointed to taking charge of his first competitive game and Bit O’ Red fans will hope it’s worth the wait for a new-look squad.

In team news, Ronan Murray (ankle) and David Cawley (knee) will have late injury tests. Ronan Coughlan joined on Thursday and should be part of the squad.

There are eight new faces in the squad in total.

Liam Buckley said: “We’ve had a good pre-season with a lot of work done in terms of fitness and developing the style of play. I think in the number of weeks we’ve spent working on the training pitch and playing matches that progress has been made in instilling that.

“It’s a new season and a new start for all. It’s a challenging game to start with, there is no doubt about that about that, but we’re looking forward to going out there and competing.

“I think we’ve brought good players to the club. When I joined I spoke about signing players here to improve the team, not just to fill a squad for the sake of it. We’ll go there with a belief we can get a positive result and we’re very much looking forward to it.”

Coughlan signs for Sligo Rovers

Happy Valentine’s Day #bitored fans

Sligo Rovers have swooped to sign striker Ronan Coughlan this morning from Cork City

Coughlan is seeking regular first-team football with Rovers moving to add him to our ranks for 2019.

A versatile attacker, he shone for Bray Wanderers before moving to City last summer.

The Limerick-born player spend time with Huddersfield Town in England before returning home.

“It’s all about playing games as far as I’m concerned. I spoke with John Caulfield during pre-season and as far as I was concerned my priority was playing every week. There are no guarantees at any club, and obviously Cork were signing more players. I just want to play and know that when I’m playing regularly I’ll find my best form.

“I met Liam Buckley during the week. We had a long, long meeting. I was really taken by it and it convinced me sign. I was playing out wide with Bray Wanderers and eventually got moved into central striker and scored goals. The move to Cork saw me play a few different positions. I’m coming here to get in the team and show the best of me.

“I don’t know too many of the lads apart from Johnny Dunleavy. I’ll train today and as far as I’m concerned I’m ready. I don’t expect to just become a regular here. I’ve got players to compete with but I’ll make no secret of my target which is coming here to score goals.”

Liam Buckley: “Ronan’s availability was something that really interested us and a few others. I spoke to him about the potential to do well here and how I think he can figure in how he play and so forth.

“While he might need time to settle into the squad, he has completed an entire pre-season in Cork, so there is no concern there, and he is technically very good so I think he’ll quickly find his way.

“From the conversations we have had I can see that hunger in him.”

Meanwhile the club can confirm that we will not be proceeding with the signature of Brendan Ogbu due to difficulties around obtaining an international clearance.

Coughlan will wear the number 7 shirt.

Ocean FM increase Rovers coverage

There is great news for #bitored fans with Ocean FM confirming increased coverage of Sligo Rovers for every league game home and away this season.

The Rovers Hour live is from 9pm on Ocean FM with second half commentary / reaction.

This Friday vs Dundalk will be live on OceanFM.ie from 7:45pm.

Make sure to tune in if you can’t make it.

Rovers win as pre-season ends

Sligo Rovers completed their pre-season schedule with a 1-0 win over Longford Town at City Calling Stadium.

Jack Keaney’s first half penalty was the only goal of the game as the Bit O’Red made it four wins from four, ahead of the season opener against Dundalk on Friday.

Liam Buckley’s side went close twice in the opening half hour through new signing Daryl Fordyce. The midfielder shooting wide from 20 yards after doing well to intercept a ball from the Longford defence.

Great trickery from the same man allowed Fordyce the space to unleash an effort from out wide, but again his stinging shot whistled wide of Lee Steacey’s goal.

The Bit O’Red hit the lead shortly before the break when Johnny Dunleavey was clattered inside the Longford area. Keaney sending the Town ‘keeper the wrong way from 12 yards.

Both defences were on top in the second period with chances at a premium.

Rovers: McGinty, Dunleavey, Mahon, Leverock, Donelon; Keaney, McFadden; Twardek, Fordyce, Kerrigan; Parkes.

Subs used: Beeney, Collins, Banks, Morahan.

Daryl Fordyce signs for Rovers

Sligo Rovers have confirmed the signing of Daryl Fordyce for the 2019 season.

Fordyce joins from FC Edmonton where he spent six years, ending when the club suffered difficulties from the change in league format.

He had to take time away from football last year for family matters.

The experienced 32-year-old can operate in a midfield and attacking role, including striker, and joins on a one-year contract to offer a number of positives for manager Liam Buckley in his squad.

He made over 250 appearance for Linfield and Glentoran prior to the move to Canada.

Buckley said: “Daryl brings a wealth of experience and a real composure and quality on the ball.

“He has impressed in the week he has been with us. It’s a great move from our end because it’s an area we’ve had to strengthen in and I think in Daryl we have a really good player to do that. He can offer a number of options.

“I know there was interest from a number of clubs up north but he has really taken to things here and I’m delighted to sign him here today.”

Fordyce said: “It is great to clinch the deal today. Everyone has been so accommodating and welcoming and it’s a really professional and friendly environment.

“I had been keeping fit before coming here and I’ve loved the training so far. I played 90 minutes last Saturday in Athlone which was great for me and showed I have that fitness. I hope to do something similar against Longford.

“Family came first for me last year, that was my priority and the way it transpired meant I couldn’t join a club. It was a hard year for all of us but it’s over and I’m focusing on the future. I think that this can be a brilliant move.

“I came close to joining a League of Ireland club in St Patrick’s Athletic before – prior to Liam Buckley was there. It’s nice to be involved in it now and with the new season so close I can’t wait to get playing.”

AGM held in Clayton Hotel

Sligo Rovers held the club’s Annual General Meeting on Tuesday night in the Clayton Hotel.

Chairman Martin Heraghty gave his address on the year passed and his hopes for the club for 2019.

He thanked the management committee of 2018 for their hard work and support for the past 12 months.

A financial presentation was done by Treasurer David Rowe, reporting on the model used by the Bit O’ Red as now one of the few community clubs in the top flight.

He said there was a changing landscape in the League of Ireland with spending increasing due to private ownerships.

A loss was recorded for the year – reduced by well over 50% on the previous year – and he said the overall outcome was commendable for all involved given the difficulty of the season.

Gate receipts, season ticket sales, 500 club and donations all increased and Rowe said it was vital that these levels were maintained. He praised the effort and dedication of the Rovers members supporters.

He said the budget for 2019 had been approved by the FAI.

Secretary Brendan Lacken gave a report on the day to day operations of the club. Questions were taken from the floor from around 80 people in attendance.

It was stressed that fundraising would once again be pivotal for the club, including the €100 member donation.

That can be made here

The new management committee was elected. Gary Loughlin, Michael Mooney and Breifne Earley stepped down from the committee, with Martin McDonald the only nominee.

The following were elected as officers, with the only change Mark Cummins being appointed assistant secretary.

  • Chairman: Martin Heraghty
  • Vice-chairman: Andy Dodd
  • Secretary: Brendan Lacken
  • Treasurer: David Rowe
  • Assistant-Secretary: Mark Cummins

Committee: Marie Casserly, Michael Clancy, Stephen Gilroy, Paddy Houze, Anthony Quinn, Michael Toolan, Marcus White, Martin McDonald

AGM tonight

Sligo Rovers can confirm that our Annual General Meeting will take place tonight (Tuesday) at 7:30pm in the Clayton Hotel.

The AGM will see the election of the 2019 management committee, a presentation of 12 months of club finances and the chairman and secretary’s report.

Meanwhile the Annual Voluntary Member Contribution of €100 can be made on the night if desired or here for members or non-members.

For more, email administrator@sligorovers.com

Longford game this Saturday

Sligo Rovers will face Longford Town on Saturday in our final pre-season match of 2019.

Rovers will take on the First Division side at 7:30pm in City Calling Stadium.

Lewis Banks will make his debut. Brendan Ogbu is still awaiting clearance. John Mahon is doubtful and Ronan Murray is out. An injury update will be issued shortly.

The schedule is

Tuesday 22nd January

Sligo Rovers 11-0 Sure Sports FC, Milebush Park

Saturday 26th January

Sligo Rovers 3-0 Galway United, Milebush Park,

Tuesday 29th January

Ballinamallard P-P Sligo Rovers, Ferney Park,

Saturday 2nd February

Athlone Town 0-4 Sligo Rovers, Athlone Town Stadium

Saturday 9th February

Longford Town v Sligo Rovers, City Calling Stadium, 7:30pm