Declan Boyle appointed Under-19 manager

Declan Boyle is the new Sligo Rovers Under-19 manager, the club can confirm.

Boyle, a former player and part of the club’s 1994 FAI Cup winning team, joins the club following the departure of Brian Dorrian.

Boyle has worked in the Finn Harps academy as Under-17 manager. He led the side to a league and cup double in the 2018 season.

Sligo Rovers head of academy Conor O’Grady said: “We’re delighted to welcome Declan back to the club. He is a very high calibre appointment.

“His record in football, from playing to coaching and work with underage players, is of the highest quality. He ticks all the boxes for us.

“It’s not an easy task to replace Brian who I want to thank because he has been a fantastic coach here and also a great colleague and friend. It’s great for him to get the post in Donegal.

“Declan takes his first training session tonight and I think he’ll make a big impact at the club. The Under-19 team are going to really benefit from what he brings.”

Boyle: “I’m thrilled to become the Under-19s manager. It’s a great opportunity.

“There are great support mechanisms in place at the club and Conor has been brilliant to work with.

“Having been part of the emerging talent programme in Mayo, I know a lot of the current Under-19 team and players in the other groups.

“I enjoyed the time at Harps and having spent two years out, it’s a great time to take the role here.

“It is all about developing and improving young players. You only have to look at the players who have come through the set-up at Sligo Rovers in the last few years. I hope to continue that and try to improve every player we have in the group.”

The club can also announce further appointments. Aaron O’Connor, formerly of Warrenpoint Town and Boyle Celtic, is the new manager of the Women’s Under-17 side.

Brian Morahan, a Uefa A Licence goalkeeping coach, is the new head of goalkeeping in the academy.

O’Grady added: “Aaron and Brian are two more top-class additions. They both bring a lot of experience and I think they will make a seamless transition into working with our players.”

This season will also see a number of first-team players working with the academy teams. Garry Buckley, Greg Bolger, Lewis Banks and Niall Morahan will each work with one male team, while Scott Lynch will work with the Women’s Under-19 side.

O’Grady has also welcomed Emma Hansberry and Stacey Muldowney into the coaching set-up for the two women’s teams.

He added: “Emma and Stacey are important figures in female sport in Sligo. They’re going to be role models and examples to some of the girls in the academy.

“They have a lot of experience and we want to develop their coaching attributes too when working under Danny and Aaron. The women’s area is a key growth area for the club and we have plans to expand it in the next year.

“We have to develop female coaches too because girls not only deserve older mentors and to learn from their experiences, but we also need female coaches to be leading figures too in time. Emma and Stacey will be influential going forward we hope.”   

Men’s teams:

Under-19s: Declan Boyle

Under-17s: Ryan Casey

Under-15s: Paul Masterson and Marcel Gordon

Under-14s: Alan Farry

Women’s teams:

Under-19s: Danny O’Leary

Under-17s: Aaron O’Connor

Determined Rovers win in Dundalk

Jordan Gibson’s fourth goal of the season saw 10-man Sligo Rovers inflict a fourth defeat of the season on struggling Dundalk at Oriel Park.

The 23-year-old showed superb skill to nutmeg Andy Boyle before rifling to the net from 25 yards out to ensure Liam Buckley’s men got back to winning ways after two draws and a defeat in their last three outings.

The result – achieved despite losing Garry Buckley to a second bookable offence eight minutes into the second half – leaves them two points off St Patrick’s Athletic in second place and four points behind leaders Shamrock Rovers ahead of the two Dublin sides’ clash at Richmond Park on Saturday.

Perhaps more significantly, however, is the fact it puts them nine points clear of Dundalk, who have now slipped to a first league defeat under interim manager Jim Magilton.

On their worst run of form since 2012 when the side needed a relegation play-off to stay up, the Louth men lacked a real threat throughout.

Even after their opponents had been reduced to 10 men, they struggled to break them down – relying on long punts forward hoping something would break for them. It didn’t and the result means they have now lost as many matches as they did in their 2019 title-winning campaign, with two of those defeats coming after the league had been secured.

With any hope of a title challenge now surely up in smoke, it will now be a huge task to even ensure European qualification for next season – something that Magilton described as “the bare minimum” expected of the side on Thursday.

Even if they can turn their form around, they’ll have a job catching a Sligo side who have now bettered them twice – even if they didn’t get the win their efforts deserved at The Showgrounds on the opening night.

Buckley has his side playing good stuff and after this result they can now start looking up the table and dreaming of a possible title push rather than looking in the rear view mirror.

The home side had the first chance of the game when former Bit O’Red player Junior got in on the left only for Ed McGinty to get a hand to his effort before it was hooked clear.

Sligo were unlucky not to take the lead themselves on 10 minutes when Walter Figueira rattled the crossbar with a vicious strike from the edge of the area after the Dundalk rearguard had stood off him.

Junior then had another shot straight at McGinty before Han Jeong-woo was also denied by the Republic of Ireland U-21 goalkeeper, who did well to get down at his near post to make the save.

This was Dundalk’s best spell and on 29 minutes they almost had another good opening when Han dispossessed John Mahon before slipping Sean Murray in only for Garry Buckley to get across and block his first-time shot.

The Louth men then had a big let-off on 31 minutes when Peter Cherrie made a big save to deny Johnny Kenny after he had raced from halfway after dispossessing Val Adedokun.

The breakthrough would arrive on 39 minutes when Gibson collected Remeo Parkes’ pass before turning to nutmeg Boyle and then firing past Cherrie to the bottom left hand corner from all of 25 yards.

Lewis Banks then headed over from a corner five minutes after the restart before Daniel Cleary almost put a free-kick into his own net with an overhit ball that went out for a corner.

The home side were then thrown something of a lifeline when Sligo were reduced to 10 men on 53 minutes after Buckley, who had been booked in the first half for a late challenge on Val Adedokun, received a second yellow card for a high boot on Junior.

Substitute Daniel Kelly then had a big chance to level nine minutes later after being teed up to the right of goal by Murray, but he blazed over.

Michael Duffy then glanced a header wide from a Raivis Jurkovskis cross on 69 minutes before the Latvian international drilled another half-chance well over three minutes later.

Wilfried Zahibo then had an effort blocked by Niall Morahan, but it was Figueira who would be next to threaten as his shot from inside his own half almost caught Cherrie out on the 90-minute mark.

Zahibo would have two headers in stoppage time to try and rescue a point for Dundalk but on each occasion McGinty was equal to them as he ensured his side held out for all three points.

Dundalk: Peter Cherrie; Raivis Jurkovskis, Daniel Cleary, Andy Boyle, Val Adedokun; Chris Shields (Patrick McEleney 67), Wilfried Zahibo; Han Jeong-woo (Daniel Kelly 55), Sean Murray, Michael Duffy; Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe (Ole Erik Midtskogen 81).

Subs not used:Alessio Abibi, Greg Sloggett, Darragh Leahy, Enda Douglas, Ryan O’Kane, Jesus Perez.

Sligo Rovers: Ed McGinty; Lewis Banks, Garry Buckley, John Mahon, Robbie McCourt; Greg Bolger, Niall Morahan; Johnny Kenny (Colm Horgan 74), Jordan Gibson, Walter Figueira; Romeo Parkes (Shane Blaney 55).

Subs not used: Richard Brush, Ryan De Vries, Regan Donelon, Darren Collins, David Cawley, Scott Lynch, Cillian Heeney.

Referee: Rob Hennessy (Limerick).

500 Club purchase lawnmower for Sligo Rovers

The Friends Of Sligo Rovers 500 Club has made another infrastructural investment in the Bit O’ Red with the purchase of a new lawnmower for grounds staff.

The five-figure purchase will help the upkeep of the Showgrounds surface and is the latest project by the 500 Club, having helped fund the reseating of the Treacy Avenue Stand two years ago.

The former Showgrounds equipment

Founded in 2003, the 500 club continues to be one of our most solid fundraising project. In the last financial year, the 500 Club provided €90,000 to Sligo Rovers.

The new equipment used by groundsman Martin Cleary

It was particularly important during the Covid-19 period as it provided steady income for the club when all other streams had been negatively affected.

The new John Deere lawnmower is state-of-the-art and will allow for greater  maintenance of the pitch which is vitally important for all of our teams.

The 500 club, led by a very dedicated 500 Club Committee continues to grow. The committee is Vincent Nally, Michael Drury, Peter Henry, Sean Crossan, Tony Quinn, Michael Clancy and Robbie Fitzpatrick.

The increase in membership will allow for more projects outside of the regular income it provides to club finances.

Martin Cleary and Martin O’Connor of the Sligo Rovers groundstaff

Sligo Rovers chief executive Colin Feehily said: “We are very thankful to Vincent, Peter, the 500 Club Committee and all of the members who play their part in contributing to Sligo Rovers.

“The 500 Club has raised over €1.7m since it began and it is fair to say it has helped us at some of the most difficult moments.

“As it grows, we can see it help more projects like new seating and this new pitch aid. On behalf of the club, we want to express our gratitude again.”

If you are interested in becoming a 500 Club member please email michaelclancy04@gmail.com with your name and contact details. If you wish to join you can make payment in a number of ways.

Colin Feehily, Noel Bennett of Dublin Grass Machinery and Vincent Nally and Peter Henry of the 500 Club Committee

It is now available to join via Paypal.

You can sign up for monthly payments of €20 for 12 months or in a one off payment of €240.

Users can pay by credit/ debit card or by logging into their PayPal account. This is an ideal method of payment for exiled fans abroad. However there is a small additional charge in respect of PayPal’s processing fee.

To pay monthly, click here

To pay yearly, click here

Preview: Rovers head for Oriel Park

Sligo Rovers begin the second round of fixtures in the SSE Airtricity League on Friday night as they face Dundalk in Oriel Park.

The game is live on RTÉ2, RTÉ Player and WATCHLOI.

After making the best since to a league season since 2013, accumulating 16 points from nine games, Rovers begin the second quarter of the campaign.

The Bit O’ Red have had four wins, four 1-1 draws and a single defeat so far.

Rovers had two of those draws last weekend. The game with St Patrick’s Athletic ended in disappointment after the concession of a 95th minute equaliser.

However, it leaves the Bit O’ Red in third place going into this encounter.

The teams have played some eventful games in recent times. The opening weekend of the season saw Liam Buckley’s side denied a winner when Mark Byrne’s goal was ruled out late on.

Romeo Parkes had brought the Bit O’ Red level after a Patrick McEleney opener. Last year Rovers completed a double over Dundalk in the league, including the 2-0 win needed to secure the Bit O’ Red’s place in the Europa League Conference first round draw next month.

They were bright spots in a difficult opposition for Rovers against a team which have dominated in the league for much of the last decade.

The Lilywhites are unbeaten in their last five games, so ahead of this Friday’s live game on RTÉ2, it is set to be a fascinating encounter.

In team news, Danny Kane misses out while Mark Byrne will have a late fitness test.

Liam Buckley said: “It was a disappointing end to the game on Monday obviously. As we reflect on it, the performance over the course of the 90 minutes was decent. We have to keep trying to get it better because it still isn’t where we feel it can be.

“I do think we can win more games with the capabilities within our group. We came close last Monday and in the end we came away with a draw. It was a decent display against a team at the top of the table.

“The first series is done, we’ve had a period of transition settling in new players, young players and trying to improve on our overall team performance with that in mind. 

“There is a lot of football to come with just a quarter of the season played and the start we’ve made has given us a chance to kick on over the rest of the year.

“I do think Dundalk will be an even more difficult proposition compared to our first meeting. Like us, they had bedding in period for a lot of new players early on in the season.

“They’ve also gone through a managerial change and what comes with it They will be a lot stronger, they’re picking up wins and we have to be ready for them. 

“That said, it’s a game we’re looking forward to. We’re determined to build on the work we’ve put in so far this year and it’s another chance for us to do so and show what we can do.

“The games between the teams are always close and it’s going to be the same on Friday I feel.”

Club thanks Brian Dorrian following FAI appointment

Sligo Rovers wish to send our gratitude to Brian Dorrian after his departure from the club this week to take up a role with the FAI as High Performance Director role for Donegal.

Brian has been a dedicated youth coach and a huge asset to the Bit O’ Red during two spells at the club.

At Under-19 level, he has coached, nurtured and mentored countless players who have gone onto play senior football with the club.  

He has played a role in the recruitment of players at youth level since 2017 and served as a coach at first-team level over the last five years.

In 2018 Brian became our first-team manager for a two-game period prior to the appointment of Liam Buckley as he led to club to a win on the final night of the season.

Brian’s commitment was exemplary given his commute from Killybegs for every session and match at varying levels of his involvement.

Last year the club won the Under-19 Shield under Brian’s management.

All at Sligo Rovers are very grateful for the role Brian has played in the development of the youth set-up at the Showgrounds.

He departs with the club very thankful for all of his hard work and dedication to the club, as well as being such a well-liked personality around The Showgrounds every day.

We wish him well in his new role at the FAI. An update on a new Under-19 manager will be issued shortly.

Rovers denied in closing seconds against Pat’s

Ian Bermingham struck in the fifth minute of added time as Sligo Rovers had to settle for a draw with St Patrick’s Athletic at the Showgrounds.

The Saints skipper headed home Darragh Burns’ corner in reply to Jordan Gibson’s opener from the penalty spot, to keep Pat’s within two points of leaders Shamrock Rovers.

Both managers made three changes from their respective previous outings, with Niall Morahan and Colm Horgan returning for Sligo, while Mark Byrne was handed his first start.

Pat’s boss Stephen O’Donnell was afforded the opportunity to welcome experience back into his starting side. Former Rovers striker Ronan Coughlan along with John Mountney and Ian Bermingham returning having not started in their victory over Longford.

The hosts hadn’t beaten their opponents since June 2018 and were fortunate not to be trailing early on.

Sligo’s Greg Bolger flashed an effort across goal after great work from ex-Pat’s winger Gibson in the opening moments.

Minutes later, Bermingham passed up an excellent opportunity when unmarked, he could only head straight at Rovers goalkeeper Ed McGinty.

The Dubliners went close again less than 60 seconds later.

The in-form Chris Forrester spinning his magic as he played a well weighted ball into the path of Coughlan was first denied by a sprawling McGinty, before a combination of the young Scot and Sligo defender John Mahon crowded Coughlan out. The Limerick native denied a second bite at the cherry thanks in part, to Mahon’s strength.

Romeo Parkes lacked the killer touch required to trap Greg Bolger’s through ball. Knowing a sharper reaction would have resulted in a one-on-one with Vitezslav Jaros, the Jamaican could only look on in agony as the Saints defence recovered in time to bring the ball away.

The Inchicore side were inches away from the lead on the half hour. But it was Paddy Barrett’s turn to grimace as his header from a Forrester free bounced on to the top of the Sligo crossbar.

There was another late Sligo chance late in the half, but Gibson fired over from the angle when the hovering Parkes looked a better option in front of the target.

Gibson however, was spot-on from 12 yards four minutes into the second half. The once Glasgow Rangers youth converting the penalty he himself won, after he was barged to the ground inside the area by an over-physical Barrett.

Pat’s reacted to this set-back by switching to a more attacking formation. Lee Desmond headed straight at McGinty, while Coughlan spun an effort wide of the far post after he muscled his way past Garry Buckley at the end line close to the hour.

Desmond again went close from a Forrester set piece, but could only nod wide a group of Pat’s players rushed to the front post.

While a back-peddling McGinty had to scramble to ensure Coughlan’s header on the spin was cleared to safety moments later.

Rovers went close to effectively sealing the win eight minutes from time.

Walter Figueira slipping the ball into the path of substitute Johnny Kenny who wrapped the ball around Jaros, but also past the far post as his placed effort dragged narrowly wide.

Referee Neil Doyle added four minutes on at the end of this encounter, but allowed Pat’s an extra 60 seconds from which they grabbed their dramatic leveller.

Sligo Rovers: Ed McGinty; Colm Horgan, John Mahon, Garry Buckley, Robbie McCourt; Niall Morahan (Shane Blaney 94), Greg Bolger; Mark Byrne (Lewis Banks 79), Jordan Gibson, Walter Figueira (David Cawley 94); Romeo Parkes (Johnny Kenny 79).

St Patrick’s Athletic: Vitezslav Jaros; Paddy Barrett (Ben McCormack 81), Sam Bone (Darragh Burns 55), Lee Desmond; John Mountney, Ian Bermingham; Jamie Lennon (Alfie Lewis 68), Chris Forrester, Billy King; Ronan Coughlan, Mattie Smith.

Referee: Neil Doyle.

2021 Sponsorship Opportunities

The club currently has some exciting sponsorship opportunities available for interested people or businesses.

The club always have a strong support base in the local region and continue to work with our sponsors to help them through these challenging times and help promote their business.

We currently have both First Team Match and Match Ball Sponsorships for our SSE Airtricity Premier Division fixtures available.

Included in our Match Sponsorship is:

  • Name on Match Day posters and graphics
  • Name on Official Digital Programme
  • Half Page Advert in Official Digital Programme
  • Photo Opp in local papers following the match
  • Social media plugs throughout the match week

Our Match Ball Sponsorship includes similar to what is listed above as well as a signed Sligo Rovers football by members of our first team.

In addition to the above, the club are also seeking a Match Short Sponsor for the remainder of the 2021 season and beyond.

Your logo will be placed on all First Team match shorts for both home and away fixtures and you will receive a complimentary pitchside advertising board at The Showgrounds as well as space on our official Sligo Rovers website.

For more information on these sponsorships you can contact the club on 0719171212 or email colinfeehily@sligorovers.com

Preview: Rovers and Pat’s meet on Monday

Sligo Rovers are back in action again on Bank Holiday Monday as St Patrick’s Athletic visit The Showgrounds, kick-off 5.45pm.

The game is live on WATCHLOI.

Rovers drew 1-1 in Head in the Game Park last Friday to take our record to four wins, three draws and just one defeat so far this season.

The Saints have yet to taste defeat, with draws against Dundalk and Shamrock Rovers plus six victories, so an intriguing game awaits on Monday.

Pat’s claimed a 2-0 win early in the season last year in Sligo, while there was a 0-0 draw in Dublin.

David Cawley and Niall Morahan return to the squad for Monday’s game. Danny Kane is set to be the only absentee.

Liam Buckley said: “It’s a top of the table clash of first against third and from our point of view, we really want to kick on and be up there and go as far as we possibly can this season.

“We’re eight games in and we’re reasonably happy with how we’ve done. It’s a good solid position we find ourselves in and we have to build on it.

“We picked up a point in Drogheda. The first half was okay, the second half we would have liked to be better. We do see more improvement coming from our end and over time I think it will come. As I said the platform is there for us and we just have to stick at it.

“It’ll be another tough game against St Pat’s. They’ve started well, they’ve got very good players and they’ve taken top spot. It’s going to be competitive and difficult for both teams.  I think it’s one we can look forward to as well.

“Niall Morahan and David Cawley come back into the squad after missing out in Drogheda. Shane Blaney came through last Friday for his debut which was great. We’ve been in for the weekend preparing for Monday and we’ll give it a right go and see where it takes us.”

Rovers earn a point in Drogheda

Sligo Rovers played out a 1-1 draw with Drogheda United at Head In The Game Park.

United took an early lead through Chris Lyons but teenager Johnny Kenny levelled before the break.

Injuries to David Cawley and Niall Morahan meant changes for Rovers. Shane Blaney came in for a debut. Walter Figueira returned while Lewis Banks made his first start of the season

The opening goal came against the run of play, but with Sligo looking blunt in the final third, Drogheda punished an Edward McGinty error. The goalkeeper left his goal to collect Ronan Murray’s free but couldn’t grasp it.

Daniel O’Reilly headed the ball to an unmarked Chris Lyons in the six-yard box. His header evaded two defenders on the line.

The visitors’ only two chances of any note in the first 30 minutes of the contest were speculative long-range efforts that were hit straight by Drogheda goalkeeper Colin McCabe. Johnny Kenny and Jordan Gibson were the players who had to produce better.

An equaliser, fully deserved as it was, arrived before the break. United, perhaps expecting referee Rob Harvey to blow for a foul on Lyons, allowed Figueira to surge forward and shoot from 25 yards. His low effort was on target but saved by McCabe.

He couldn’t hold onto the ball however and as it squirmed from his grasp, Johnny Kenny closed in and rounded the goalkeeper before tapping in.

Romeo Parkes and Banks set their sights from range either side of the break as, although Sligo continued to dominate possession, penalty area action remained at a premium.

The introduction of midfielder Luke Heeney for the ineffectual Doyle helped Drogheda in their bid to see more of the ball and they greatly improved as the second half progressed.

Sligo were unable to fashion many more chances. Jordan Gibson stung the palms of McCabe but it was comfortable enough. The most presentable opportunities fell to Drogheda’s 19-year-old Killian Phillips.

James Brown’s pull back from the byline evaded everyone in the area but with time and space at the back post, Phillips’ finish lacked composure and cleared the crossbar. He was again well positioned late on but his well-struck shot was the wrong side of the post and then the busy youngster had a shot blocked by John Mahon.

Greg Bolger’s late free kick was on target but held by McCabe.

Drogheda United: Colin McCabe; Killian Phillips, Daniel O’Reilly, Dane Massey, James Brown, Gary Deegan, Ryan O’Shea; Darragh Markey, Ronan Murray (James Clarke, 73), Mark Doyle (Luke Heeney, 53); Chris Lyons.

Sligo Rovers: Ed McGinty, Lewis Banks, Garry Buckley, John Mahon, Robbie McCourt; Greg Bolger, Shane Blaney; Jordan Gibson, Walter Figueria; Johnny Kenny, Romeo Parkes (Ryan De Vries, 80).

Referee: Rob Harvey (Dublin)