Rovers set for pre-season return

Sligo Rovers are set to return to pre-season on Friday as our 2020 squad assemble for the first time.

Rovers have six weeks of build-up to the first league game – a meeting away to Finn Harps on 14th February.

Speaking to, Buckley said: “As I’ve mentioned the players have been ticking over in the last couple of months with their programmes and they return formally tomorrow (Friday). We’ll have a couple of meetings and do a light session.  

“That will continue into the weekend. We’ll be assessing the players and go from there. The management staff and I have formulated the plan over the next six weeks. We have to be fit and ready to go from that first night in Ballybofey. It’s also a long season ahead and you see by the fixture list that the games come thick and fast. It’s all factored in and we’re excited to get going.”

Buckley said he will give an update on the group he is working with before the weekend, adding it will take a bit more time to finalise the squad, although much of the recruitment has been completed.

“Behind the scenes there is a lot of activity, that hasn’t really stopped. We’re exploring all avenues.

“We’re trying to squeeze as much as we can out of the budget. We’ve gone for quality in terms of recruitment and to finish that off we need the right players. We’re confident it will come off in time.”

In terms of pre-season friendlies, the Rovers boss said he hopes to add formal dates soon with games lined up and awaiting approval before announcement.

“Yes, the schedule is pretty much locked in. One change you’ll see this year is we’re going to play some pre-season games in Dublin at the FAI facility in Abbotstown.

“It’s not easy getting games in the region, you’ll find that teams in the Dublin area won’t always travel as they have plenty of potential opposition around them. More so we don’t want to use our pitch at this time of year as well.

“We want to give it a complete break and we looked after it in the closing stages of last year so there will be an improvement. I can’t stress how important that is to us going forward because we want the surface to be in the best possible condition. There is a lot of work going into it.

“There’s the facility in Dublin where we can play on grass against First Division sides and if the weather is inclement, then there is an astro pitch as well so the game will definitely go ahead.

“Our first game will be in Mayo in a couple of weeks and there’ll be another one or two in places close to us. Again the dates are tailored around our training. We hope to announce them all soon.”

Look out for more pre-season content over the weekend