Match programmes to be produced and sold

Sligo Rovers will produce match programmes, hard copy and digital, for the remainder of the SSE Airtricity League season.

They are available on an individual basis or in group.

Buy all programmes from now until the end the season for just €14. The PDF will be e-mailed on matchday.

You can also get the hard copies, of all games from now to the end of the season, for €40.

Buy the digital bundle here.

Buy the hard copy bundle here.

Match with Waterford FC postponed

Sligo Rovers will not play Waterford FC on Tuesday as scheduled as a Waterford FC player has shown symptoms of Covid-19.

The Bit O’ Red discovered the postponement on Monday morning. No new date has been scheduled.

The Waterford FC player is awaiting a test result.

Club activities continue as normal. We will post a further update later this week.

Buckley hails ‘important’ win as he looks for more

Sligo Rovers manager Liam Buckley described Friday night’s win over Derry City as a “fillip” for the side as Kyle Callan-McFadden and Ronan Coughlan scored on the road to give the Bit O’ Red their first three points of the SSE Airtricity League season.

Rovers were determined throughout and were comfortable against the Candystripes as they kept a clean sheet and were composed all over the pitch.

Buckley told RTÉ Sport: “It’s very important for us bearing in mind the start we had. It is a great turnaround given we had lost four games. We’re delighted with the win.

“As a group we worked extremely hard and keep in mind we have missed the foreign lads who have only been here four weeks and part of the main group for two weeks. The players put in a serious shift and been very compact. In fairness there wasn’t a lot in the game. Nonetheless we took our goals well and we’re grateful for the win.”

The win lifts Rovers, both in mood and the SSE Airtricity League table, but Buckley feels it is just the first step needed.

With results in February and March, he feared a defeat in Derry would have been hard to take.

“If we went into the Waterford game having lost five on the spin, it was a different picture. At least now we have a victory under our belts and a feel good factor.

“Hopefully we get confidence from tonight. We still have some players to come back into the group from that end of it as well which will help. We can look forward to Tuesday.”

Liam Buckley congratulates Niall Morahan

Many things seemed to go against Rovers in the first quarter of 2020 – none more so than injuries.

That luck repeated itself with Alex Cooper and Teemu Penninkangas picked up knocks this week.

Buckley is hoping things fall his way over the coming week.

“I was waiting for something to go wrong here injury wise because of how it has gone previously! I’m hopeful Alex Cooper and Teemu Penningkangas will be ready for Tuesday or Saturday.

“Another one or two new signings may or may not come in. That would help the squad if we do get them over the line. Hopefully we can push on up the table.

“We hadn’t an ounce of luck at the start of the season and there wasn’t much in the games. We came out on the wrong end every time howerver. This is a fillip for us, we move on to Tuesday and go from there.”

Rovers secure brilliant win in Derry

Sligo Rovers deservedly secured their first victory of the season with an impressive 2-0 win on the road against a lacklustre Derry City side. 

Liam Buckley’s men were victorious thanks to goals from Kyle Callan-McFadden and Ronan Coughlan, and certainly seemed to play with more hunger and desire than the home side.

As for Declan Devine’s charges, they struggled throughout and never tested Rovers goalkeeper Ed McGinty during the 90 minutes.

The visitors took the lead on 19 minutes after Regan Donelon’s right-wing corner found centre-back Callan-McFadden, and the big centre-back rose unchallenged to head home from close range.

Rovers would have added a second minutes later as the dangerous Coughlan found himself some space inside the Derry box, but his low drive was superbly blocked by a diving Eoin Toal.

Derry went close to levelling things on 40 minutes, but Conor McCormack’s close-range strike was deflected wide.

Just before the break, Rovers felt they should have had a penalty, but referee David McLaughlin waved away their protests after Coughlan seemed to be upended by McCormack.

Kyle Callan-McFadden opened the scoring

The Bit O’Red were awarded a penalty on 51 minutes after Coughlan, who was a handful all game, was brought down inside the box by Toal. The striker stepped up and side-footed home the resulting spot-kick.

McGinty nearly gifted Derry a way back into the contest on 70 minutes when he raced out to the edge of his area, but fortunately for the keeper Gerardo Bruna’s attempted lob into the unguarded net flew well over.

In the 90th minute, Figueira, who struggled for long parts, went close to grabbing a consolation goal. However his shot sailed just past McGinty’s right-hand post.

Derry City: Peter Cherrie, Conor McCormack, Eoin Toal, Ally Gilchrist (Mark McChrystal HT), Ciaran Coll; Conor Clifford (Jack Malone 58), Gerardo Bruna, Joe Thomson; Ciaron Harkin (Patrick Ferry 58), Walter Figueira, Stephen Mallon. 

Sligo Rovers: Ed McGinty, Darragh Noone, Kyle McFadden, Garry Buckey (John Russell 73), Regan Donelon; Will Seymore, David Cawley, Niall Morahan; Jesse Devers (Darron Collins 80), Ryan Coughlan, Ryan De Vries

Referee: Paul McLaughlin (Monaghan).

Preview: Buckley looks ahead to restart

Sligo Rovers return to league action on Friday evening when meeting Derry City in the SSE Airtricity League.

After 21 weeks, Rovers face Derry, looking to secure the first points of the season.

In team news, Ronan Murray and Lewis Banks are now fit and available.

Danny Kane (foot) could return to training next week. Johnny Dunleavy has featured off the bench in the friendly games and he is back in the squad.

New signing Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe has received his work permit and visa and available in that respect. However, due to quarantining, he will not be taking part on Friday.

John Mahon is not ready to return to action following his leg break in February. It is hoped he can make a full return in the coming weeks.

Liam Buckley said: “When the players returned to training they were in good condition and they’ve worked very hard over the last few weeks.

“It hasn’t been ideal in having the short period of training and missing lads who have gone through quarantine. There’s an imbalance in the league in that. But this is the situation and we have to make the best of what we have.

“We are representing the people who fund this club and will fund us from now to the end of the season. We owe it to everyone that we give it absolute everything and show what it means to be a part of Sligo Rovers.

“With the start we did make, we’ve had the last 21 weeks of sitting at the bottom of the table and it has been on my mind for that period. It’s not the place we want to be. We need to be calm, leave no stone unturned over the next months and get the results we need.

“I feel there is a really good group of footballers here and we need to go out and do it in terms of performances and results. It is very welcome to have Lewis and Ronan back now as well. They can be big players for us.

“Add in Ryan De Vries, Jesse Devers who has done well for us, Ronan Coughlan has been scoring goals and looking as sharp as I’ve seen him. We also have Regan back who can play further forward and Alex Cooper, we’re looking much stronger overall. Injuries were a big part of the start we made I feel. We need to cut out conceding the likes of goals we did. That has been part of our focus in the last few weeks.

“I’ve also been impressed by Mark Byrne and Darren Collins, they have caught my eye. I’ve no doubt they are going to go on to become good players for this club and they are very much part of the group now. They’re not just the future, they will have a role to play.

“Junior has been cleared and is well underway his period of quarantine. The sooner we can get him with us the better. Every club has to stick to the rules and ensure for health reasons that for the sake of everyone they abide by them, so we will do.”

Asked about behind closed doors matches:

“The main thing for us is performing. Everyone has to get used to the surroundings, and whatever the situation is.

“We abide by the rules, we take the game on as what it is. I want our players to feel it personally and the performance is all that counts regardless of pitch or crowds or whatever else.

“If we perform we will win matches. It won’t be a lack of effort from us when we weigh up how we will get on in all of these games. We’re going to give it our all. We’ve waited patiently to get the opportunity to win football matches. We’ve got the first chance to do that on Friday and we’re looking forward to taking on Derry.”

Watch in the Belfry Gastro Pub on Friday

The Belfry Gastro Pub will stream Sligo Rovers’ return to football on Friday night in The Brandywell for Bit O’ Red Supporters who wish to watch on.

Book into the Belfry or Lola Montez Supperclub here and in the comments section add a note to say you are in to watch the match so the staff can sit you at the best table to watch Rovers in action.

Kick-off on Friday is 5:45pm. Booking is requested, go here.

Sligo Rovers season ticket holders can gain a free streaming pass here.

Non season ticket holders can purchase on WatchLOI.ie

Annie West: The Bit O’ Red

Illustrator Annie West has teamed up with Sligo Rovers to create an iconic portrait of generations of supporters of the club.

The image shows countless Bit O’ Red characters that created the spirit of Sligo Rovers and show the support behind the club for the coming months.

Annie West is an award-winning illustrator and cartoonist, her work was recently added to the National Library of Ireland’s permanent Cartoon & Illustration Archive.

The image, created in recent weeks, will be available to purchase for €12 in local retail outlets and also available online, plus postage. 

They are available in Barton Smiths, Eason’s, Carraig Donn, The Record Room, Centra Maugheraboy and more to come.

Buy online on srfcdirect.com here

There will also be a signed special limited edition high resolution  museum grade print, signed and numbered by Annie West, which will be processed directly via www.anniewest.com

It was unveiled on social media in recent weeks to widespread praise and huge demand to purchase, and will be a souvenir item for Sligo Rovers fans to treasure for years to come.

Explaining the inspiration behind the project, Annie West said: “I’m not really a football fan, I just got a sense of something bad happening for Sligo Rovers because of Covid-19 and I just thought ‘wouldn’t it be nice to do something’. 

“I’ve passed by The Showgrounds after a game and I’ve always been struck by the colour and the energy. And the banners. Lots to work with. 

“I didn’t have a lot of time but with lockdown it was that bit easier to find it. I spoke to Tommy Higgins and he was very positive about it.

“I spoke to some well-known veteran Rovers supporters, discovered more and more about these mad characters, stories I didn’t know. These people were just so committed to Sligo Rovers. I saw all the banners, the flags. It quickly all added up.”

Annie, who has donated the picture to Sligo Rovers as a fundraiser, was taken aback by the response.

“Well what I discovered what was there are Sligo Rovers fans everywhere firstly because I was getting messages from all over the world. 

“And then I just wanted to look more and more into the people who have followed the club and just what an impact it makes. I saw that mural of Nancy Callaghan, but I never really knew the story.

“The more I read, I discovered what an amazing woman she was, with her chair. Johnny Chadda. All the people who dedicated all their time to keeping Sligo Rovers going.  At first I thought we could do this and just post it online for a bit of a lift for people. 

“But with the situation of no crowds being allowed to attend games, I thought let’s do it as a fundraiser for the club. I hope everyone enjoys it.”

Sligo Rovers chairman Tommy Higgins said: “I’d like to thank Annie showcasing Sligo Rovers with her incredible talent 

“This wonderful piece captures so much of our people and our club in a way that only Annie can do. 

“We are simply thrilled to have it available to us and for our supporters to cherish.” 

Arsenal supporters donate €1,000 to Sligo Rovers

The Sligo branch of the Arsenal Supporters Club have made a donation of €1,000 to Sligo Rovers to help the club financially for the rest of the season.

A presentation was made to Sligo Rovers to mark the contribution, which the Arsenal Supporters Club said was made on the back of the success of the GoFundMe and to offer support to the Bit O’ Red.

Sligo Rovers chairman Tommy Higgins said: “I want to thank Willie, Robbie, Michael and all of the Arsenal fans in the region for this contribution to the club.

“The funds are extremely welcome in a challenging few months to come for us.

“We are very fortunate to have links with the supporters clubs in Sligo, every football fan is missing being able to go to a match and that is the same all over the world really.

“This gesture from the local Arsenal fans is really appreciated and hugely generous. We know that the Arsenal fans can’t be at the Emirates, but they are in turn helping Sligo Rovers. That does mean a lot to us.

“We can’t wait to see all football fans in Sligo back in The Showgrounds, one day soon.”

Willie Hudson, chairman of the Sligo branch of the Arsenal Supporters Club, said: “We are delighted to make this €1,000 donation today.

“The money is for the ongoing fundraising drive in these challenging times. We wish Sligo Rovers the best of luck for the rest of the year.”

The GoFundMe page for Sligo Rovers has raised over €84,000.

L to R: Robbie McNabb Secretary Sligo Arsenal SC, Colin Feehily CEO Sligo Rovers, Willie Hudson Chairman Sligo Arsenal SC, Tommy Higgins Chairman Sligo Rovers and Michael Farrell Treasurer Sligo Arsenal SC

Match attendance: 50 fans to attend Waterford game

Sligo Rovers will permit 50 supporters to attend next Tuesday’s SSE Airtricity Premier Division match against Waterford FC in The Showgrounds.

The Bit O’ Red will contact 50 season ticket holders who have applied for the Waterford game and they will be in The Showgrounds for the first home game since the restart.

The 50 supporters will be contacted in the next 48 hours.

A ticketing system will be in operation on the night.

The club will take contact details, a new entrance system will be in place at the Showgrounds office and identification will also be requested.

Supporters must wear masks on entry and in the ground. Strict social distancing measures will be in place.  

The club will also permit the same number of fans for the match with Shelbourne, but it will be a different set of 50 fans in order to satisfy as many fans possible.

A total of 200 people can attend the event but this includes players, coaches, officials and match night events.

That figure is just under 150.

No other person will be allowed access to the stadium.

Season ticket holders who are not successful in the ballot can apply to stream the game for free via a complimentary season pass for WatchLOI.ie

Non season ticket holders can purchase at WatchLOI.ie

Super Start To The Summer Camps

Week one of the clubs Summer Camps have just concluded, with children coming to The Showgrounds again for the first time since February.

The club would like to thank the children, parents and coaches for making week one of the camp such a success.

It was evident that all participants were delighted to be back amongst friends again in The Showgrounds.

The club have capped each week of the Summer Camp to 60 participants, with the first four weeks of the camp sold out.

There are only two spaces remaining for week five of the camp (August 17th-21st).

To book the last two remaining spots on our Summer Camp, click here