Shane Blaney Interview

Now into his second season with Sligo Rovers after signing from Doncaster Rovers last season, defender Shane Blaney is enjoying the current campaign having shaken off his injury woes from last year to become a regular in the first team:

“I am loving it and it is all going very well for me at the moment. The past few weeks, indeed the past couple of months have been great. Last season was tough with the injury I picked up ruling me out of actions for a few weeks halfway through the season. I had a Lisfranc fracture in my foot and it was hard coming back from that so that was a rough patch. But this season I was prepared better for it and was looking forward to getting going.”

Blaney played a key role in the Europa Conference League Qualifiers against Bala Town and Motherwell, part of the team that earned a crucial 1-0 win away from home in the First Leg before scoring a sublime free kick in the Second Leg at home to give Rovers an early lead on the night before winning the game 2-0.

“Yeah look we knew that we should have given a better account of ourselves in the FH games last season. So going into this season’s ones we had a chip on our shoulder. We shouldn’t have come away from both of those games against FH with two losses and wanted to have a better run this season and we have had that.”

One of Rovers great success stories has been the advancement of players through the club’s underage sides as the club continues to develop its academy. This has proved to be a mixed blessing as before the season Johnny Kenny signed for Celtic and John Mahon for St. Johnstone and recently Ed McGinty signed for Oxford United. Blaney feels that this is the new normal for clubs in the League with teams in England Scotland realising how talented the players here are:

“Aye, yeah it is tough but that is just the game that we are in at the moment. We’re not unique, a lot of the other teams in the league are in the same position in losing their better young players to teams from England and Scotland and European ones. Those leagues have realised there are some really talented players in the League here and that they can get them at good prices. As a player it is great for the rest of us and makes it really exciting going forward. As a team in the League you have to deal with it and it is part of life now and every team seems to be losing a fair few players. If you look at Ed, what an incredible keeper and what a way to sign off his time with us after the penalty shoot-out against Bala. We are all in the same boat when it comes to him in that he is a top, top, top keeper and he will go further than the level he has gone to.”

Blaney has made 24 appearances so far this season and may make his 25th in a North-West Derby against his former club Finn Harps on Friday night in Ballybofey.

By Keith O’ Dwyer