Shane Blaney signs for Sligo Rovers

Sligo Rovers have completed the signing of former Doncaster Rovers defender Shane Blaney for the 2021 season.

The Letterkenny man joins the Bit O’ Red after two and a half years with Doncaster where he captained their Under-23 side and played in the EFL Trophy.

Blaney, a 6 ft 2 left-footed centre-half, began his career with Finn Harps, making his debut at 17 before joining Doncaster at the start of 2018 just prior to his 19th birthday.

Listen to the first interview with Shane

He is a former Irish schoolboy captain and took the same role at Doncaster Under-23s.

Blaney had two loan spells but left Doncaster last summer.

He will turn 22 in January as he starts pre-season under Liam Buckley, looking to kickstart his career at home again.

The late Brendan Byrne, a stalwart of Sligo Rovers and the 500 Club, is a great Uncle of Shane. He also played alongside John Mahon and Irish underage international level.

Blaney said “I’m delighted. This has been ongoing for the last few weeks. I’ve been speaking with Liam for that period and it seems like the perfect fit for me. It was a great experience at Doncaster.

“I never got the right time for it to fall to get a league debut. I was in the first-team training but it didn’t come. I need games now.

“I’m absolutely dying to get going. Liam actually made contact in July but I wanted to stay in England as I had a few things going on there. With Covid-19, teams weren’t taking on players on trial and six weeks ago I made the decision to come home. I had a few offers in Ireland and calls, but Liam was the first meeting and since that I knew I wanted to sign for Sligo.

“Anyone I ask about Sligo, every single person says what a good club it is and great fans. I’m very excited for it all.

“I’ve been preparing for a return to pre-season for months now to be honest. When it comes around I’ll be ready. I’m here to play, I have my own goals and I hope to be as successful as I can be. I’ll be trying as hard as I can for Liam and the club.

“I think my style is perfect for the manager. I love the ball to feet and that side of the game. It’s a good fit. Liam’s ambition matches my ambition, it could be something special here with the mix of young players and the older lads. I’m just really looking forward to it.”

Liam Buckley said: “Shane is a really good addition to us. He comes strongly recommended and is looking to make an impression here.

“The conversations we’ve had have been good. Shane is ambitious and he’s coming here to prove what he can do.

“Shane is a very good addition to our group of defenders. He is a centre-half who can play in a back three or a back four and is good on the ball with a good strike of it too.

“He has lots of attributes to be a good defender for us and he’s really eager to get going as we all are now. We’re waiting on the schedule to finalise all of the details of pre-season.

“We are speaking with more players. There’s a strong core group assembled and I hope we’ll be adding to that soon.”

Under contract at Sligo Rovers for 2021 so far: Ed McGinty, Luke McNicholas, Lewis Banks, Garry Buckley, John Mahon, Robbie McCourt, Shane Blaney, David Cawley, Greg Bolger, Niall Morahan, Ryan De Vries, Romeo Parkes, Mark Byrne.