Dante Leverock signs for Sligo Rovers

Sligo Rovers have announced the signing of Bermuda captain Dante Leverock from Estonian outfit Narva Trans, subject to international clearance.

The centre-half, who spent a lot of his childhood in England, had an impressive season in the Estonian league, including scoring eight goals from the back.

He has 15 caps and two goals with Bermuda and was recently appointed captain when quickly emerging as a leader for the side who are pushing for Gold Cup qualification.

He started his career in English non-league before joining Harrisburg City Islanders in America and returned to play for Ilkeston under Shaun Goater.

Leverock was a stand out player for Narva Trans as they finished fourth in the top flight in Estonia.

He said after signing a one-year contract: “It’s an honour to sign for Sligo Rovers today.

“I’d heard about the club from former player Ciaran Nugent who I know from the Islanders and Jake Keegan too who plays for St Pat’s.

“I’ve done my research on Sligo Rovers and I see the community aspect of the club, that there’s a family within the club and that really attracted me to here.

“It’s important to me to be part of a close-knit group and I see football is very popular in Sligo.

“I’ve worked very hard to make it as a professional and I’ve just had a very good experience in Estonia. I think I did well and at international level it has been positive too.

“When I spoke to Liam I really couldn’t pass up the chance to come play for him and this club.

“He told me of how he wants Rovers to improve and I think he can help grow me as a player.

“He explained there will be tough competition but that’s something I thrive on and it makes us all better players.

“I really look forward to meeting the management, the players and fans of Sligo Rovers. We will aim for a very good year ahead for all of us.”

Buckley said: “Dante emerged as a possible signing and we took a good look at him and thought he had something to offer.

“He’s a good big centre-half and while his goal record might stand out, he’s a defender so clean sheets is his target.

“He’s got a good background of experience in English non-league and he’s coming with the knowledge of playing abroad and international level.

“That’s useful as we have a lot of youth in our squad and we need a balance.

“He’s hungry to make as good a career as he can for himself and this is another step forward for him again which we think he can take.”

WU17 Coaching / Support Staff Positions Available

Sligo Rovers FC are inviting applicants to express their interest in a number of roles for the Women’s U17 team who will once again participate in the Continental Tyres Women’s U17 National League in 2019.

Through our Women’s Football section, our goal is to be competing at the highest level of women’s football. We will provide a performance centre strategy that encompasses the club wide philosophy for players to develop within a comprehensive and professionalised environment.

The positions will be on a voluntary basis. The role will provide valuable experience for the successful candidate of working with an elite group of players.

  • Assistant Coach
  • Goalkeeper Coach
  • Strength & Conditioning Coach
  • Video Analyst
  • Physiotherapist

Trials will be held in early January with training commencing in Mid January and running until the end of the season in October 2019.

The ideal candidate will have skills and experience in the following areas:

Essential Criteria

  • Long-term commitment to working within a multi-disciplinary team.
  • Access to both email and phone.
  • Experience and enthusiasm for coaching and mentoring elite young players and coaches.
  • Excellent communication skills with the ability to build meaningful, strong strategic relationships with players, staff and officials.
  • Must be available for games / training at weekends and evenings.
  • Successful candidate will be subjected to garda vetting clearance.

Desirable Criteria

  • Up to date Safeguarding 1 / Child Welfare Certificate. (Will be required prior to commencing role)
  • A valid National C / D Licence holder for coaching roles
  • Organisational skills.
  • Previous experience of coaching in female game.

To apply for any of these positions please email your CV with a cover letter to Breifne Earley, Secretary, Women’s Football Committee, Sligo Rovers FC at sligoroverswomen@gmail.com by Sunday, 16th December 2018.

Shortlisting will apply and candidates will be called for interview shortly after the closing date.

Christmas Draw tickets available here

Sligo Rovers Christmas Draw tickets are now on sale with a top prize of €500.

There are also a number of hotel breaks to be won, as well as Republic of Ireland international team prizes and Sligo Rovers season ticket and jersey

Tickets are €5 or three for €10.

Tickets are on sale in our club store in Barton Smiths, The Showgrounds, from any committee member, or online below



Darragh Healy appointed head-coach of Rovers Under-17 women’s team

Sligo Rovers are thrilled to announce that Darragh Healy has been appointed head-coach of our Under 17 Women’s National League team.

The Ballisodare native takes over from Damon Kearney who guided the Bit O’Red girls to a fourth place finish in their group in 2018, which was the league’s first year.

Darragh brings with him a wealth of experience, thanks to his involvement in football in the community. He is a member of the coaching staff with the Rovers Under 19s, and is head coach of the Rovers primary school programme, which involves visiting schools, coaching and delivering workshops.

He is the current head-coach of IT Sligo women’s team, and is also assistant coach of the IT Sligo men’s A team. He also coaches four teams at the Ursuline College.

Darragh is head-coach with his home town club Ballisodare United, delivering workshops to fellow coaches and coaching the various academy age groups.

Speaking to sligorovers.com Healy said: “I’m delighted to be taking over as head coach of the Women’s Under 17 team. It’s a great opportunity for me to work with the best female team and players in the region. I feel that it is a really exciting time to be involved in the female game in Sligo and there’s no doubt that the future is very bright.

“I have been involved with Sligo Rovers in recent years and followed the women’s under 17 team’s progress last year. I will be looking to build on the fantastic foundations that have been put in place by the committee and coaches from last season.

“There is a fantastic pool of talent within the region, and the fact that several players received international call-ups just shows you the potential that is here.

“This is a new challenge for me and it’s one I’m really looking forward to. I would like to thank the Sligo Rovers Women’s Committee for the opportunity.”

Johnny Dunleavy signs for Rovers

Liam Buckley has confirmed his latest newest signing at The Showgrounds with the news that Johnny Dunleavy has joined from Cork City.

The Ballybofey man has signed for the Bit O’ Red after a decorated spell with Cork that began in 2012.

He was captain of the club for the latter part of that spell.

Dunleavy is extremely versatile and can feature across the defence, as well as in midfield.

Liam Buckley said of his latest signing for 2019: “I think Johnny has many great attributes.

“He is the type of player that can be a big influence at the club but the target is to have a good pre-season and establish himself and then the rest will largely follow.

“It’s no secret he has had his injury problems but we think he is a player worth investing in and he is really enthusiastic about getting back to playing regularly.

“He is an accomplished player in several positions and again he has that bit of nous from being in the league for a long time and at a club that has had success.

“We’re delighted to have him on board. I think he feels enthused by what we’re trying to do here. He understands it will take time and patience is required.

“We’re pleased with how things are progressing and we’re looking to bring in more players when we can. It’s not easy for any club out there and we’re working hard to get the lads we think would do well here.”

Johnny Dunleavy said: “Liam got in contact and asked me to meet him which I was delighted about. I had a fair idea about the club but what sold it to me was his enthusiasm and the excitement about it.

“I couldn’t speak highly enough of my time at Cork City as I explained last night.

“The move to Sligo isn’t about proximity or being closer to home. That isn’t really a factor. I’m in a place where I want to be part of a new project and challenge and this is ideal.

“You look at the likes of Ronan Murray signing and players like David Cawley here already and there’s certainly something building.

“I’m don’t want to win one week and lose the next. That isn’t going to fulfil me. My mentality is to try to win everything and I like to think I play with my heart on my sleeve.

“There will never be a lack of effort. We know it’s not overnight. I hope my experience and the likes of Ronan Murray from Dundalk can be beneficial to the young guys here and we can build on it.

“Everyone knows about long-term injuries. I’ve played some of the best football of my career in the likes of the first half of 2016 season where we won the league. I’d like to get back to that level and I think I can.

“My thoughts are to get stuck into pre-season and get playing. Liam Buckley hasn’t gone into too much detail of nailing down a certain position.

“That will come in the future; I’m just focused on being in great condition for the opening night of the season.”

Dunleavy can look forward to matches with neighbours Finn Harps next year.

“I’m from just over a mile away from Finn Park so my connections are probably quite clear. They are going to be great occasions and thousands of fans.

“I know The Showgrounds can really rock with big crowds and it won’t just be derby games we’re looking that for. I don’t think we should speak about expectation.

“But what we do need to get back to is making The Showgrounds the traditional tough place to go it was again. The record from last year needs to be improved upon and that’s a big aim.

“We’ll all look forward to the Harps games and I can guarantee you I’ll be doing all I can do secure the three points for Sligo Rovers regardless!”

Russell appointed assistant manager, signed as player

John Russell has returned to Sligo Rovers as assistant manager to Liam Buckley, the Bit O’Red confirmed this evening.

Russell has been manager of Westport United for 2018 and working as a regional development officer for several years.

He has also tonight signed as a player for the 2019 campaign for Rovers.

The 33-year-old has made 179 appearances with the club so far, scoring 17 goals.

Russell said on becoming assistant to Liam Buckley: “I’m delighted to be back and working with Liam Buckley in particular is a great fit for me I think.

“I’ve been a player under Liam and I always thought he was fantastic and one of, if not the best, I’ve been managed by. His record speaks for itself. He shares the same philosophies I have and instills the style of play I like to see teams have.

“I’ve always been keen on coaching and working in my role as an FAI development officer has been rewarding and beneficial to my own learning. I’d like to thank Westport United for giving me the opportunity to manage their super league team this year.

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time there and it was a pleasure to manage and coach the players. Westport have a big match coming up in the last 32 of the Junior Cup. I want to wish them every success in that and thank them for their understanding.

“This is just a fantastic opportunity for me and to be back at Sligo Rovers is a nice feeling. I’m looking forward to starting pre-season next month. I’ve played with some of the lads already, I know all of the young players from a coaching capacity in my work with the FAI so it will be good to see everyone soon.”

The midfielder said on signing as a player: “My role is first and foremost as an assistant and to coach, that’s what I’ve come here for.

“I feel I can contribute if called upon, if there is situation that needs it. I’ve kept myself in good condition. But my focus will be the sideline primarily.”

The Bit O’ Red wish to extend our thanks to Westport United for their co-operation and allowing us to make the announcement this evening.

Liam Buckley said on appointing John as full-time assistant: “I know John very well from St Pat’s and I know what type of character he is.

“He is very well-spoken of as a coach and eager to get an opportunity. It was a no-brainer as far as I’m concerned. I know he is respected in the region and he’s going to bring so much as a number two. He’ll have fresh ideas and he’ll be a great sounding for me to work with. There’s also the local knowledge as well which will be useful given it’s early stages here for me.

“I think it’s a great appointment and he’ll be a big asset to the club.”

Buckley said on the playing side: “I’ve brought in John to be part of the backroom, that’s his main remit.

“To have a 33-year-old of his ability at the club and still fresh means it makes sense to register him.

“We’ll see how it goes. It’s not something there should be too much focus on but it’s useful to me to know I can call upon John because he can certainly contribute to the squad.”

Christmas draw tickets

Sligo Rovers Christmas Draw tickets are now on sale with a top prize of €500.

There are also a number of hotel breaks to be won, as well as Republic of Ireland international team prizes and Sligo Rovers season ticket and jersey

Tickets are €5 or three for €10.

Tickets are on sale in our club store in Barton Smiths, The Showgrounds, from any committee member, at our question and answer evening on Wednesday at 7:30pm in the Clayton Hotel or online below