Rein Smit signs for Sligo Rovers

Sligo Rovers are delighted to announce the signing of Dutch striker Rein Smit, subject to international clearance.

The 23-year-old joins Rovers having trained with the club over a recent number of weeks and has featured in several pre-season friendlies, impressing manager John Russell. 

A product of the Heerenveen academy, where he signed at 13, Smit was a regular in their underage sides before appearing for the first team in the Eredivise. He then made the move to Dutch second tier side Telstar in 2021 where he was an important member of the first team for two seasons.

The Castricum native has signed a deal until the end of the season and is keen to make his mark as soon as possible. 

“I was in contact with John (Russell) early last year and I wanted to come to Rovers then”, Smit explains. 

“But Telstar didn’t want to let me go then. Then in the summer, I came to visit and see how it was but I had a small injury and couldn’t sign. So in the winter I came out and started to train with Rovers and get fit and happily, I was offered a contract.

“I am always hungry for goals and I want to be involved in both creating and scoring them. It’s going to be a huge challenge to get into the team and stay there but that’s what I’m here to do. I know I need to work hard and show John and the staff what I’m capable of.” 

Settling in Sligo over the past few weeks, Smit is quickly getting familiar with the area, his team-mates and the opposition.   

“Sligo is a really nice place!”, he continued. 

“It’s quieter than the area I am from but the weather is similar! 

“I didn’t know much about Rovers or the League of Ireland before I came but from what I’ve seen, it’s physical but my playing style is physical so I like it.

“I think there’s a really good squad here. We deserved to win last week against Shamrock Rovers and if you deserve to win against the league winners, then you’re doing a good job. The likes of JR Wilson, I love his aggressiveness, Conor Malley’s creativity and Fabrice Hartmann’s skill.” 

Russell had hoped to be able to include the centre forward in his squad from the start of the season. However a slight knock picked up in pre-season, delayed the process.. 

Speaking about his latest signing, Russell said: “I’m delighted to sign Rein. He has been with us since pre-season but unfortunately picked up a slight strain which put his signing back a few weeks. 

“He has a really good pedigree having come up through the Heerenveen academy and then breaking into the first team before moving onto Telstar. 

“We feel he has the attributes to do well in our league and especially in how we play. We will need to be patient in building him up over the next few weeks but we’re all excited to have him join us and add more firepower to our team.”