Sport League of Ireland

Thursday 18 September 2014

Sligo want Fenlon for top job

Garry Doyle

Published 20/06/2014 | 02:30

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Former Hibs manager Pat Fenlon is on Sligo Rovers' shortlist to replace the departed Ian Baraclough. Photo: David Maher / SPORTSFILE
Former Hibs manager Pat Fenlon is on Sligo Rovers' shortlist to replace the departed Ian Baraclough. Photo: David Maher / SPORTSFILE

Sligo Rovers parted company with Ian Baraclough yesterday and immediately placed Pat Fenlon on their short-list to fill the managerial vacancy at The Showgrounds.

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Yet while the excellence of his CV, coupled with his availability, makes Fenlon the stand-out candidate, it is far from certain he will be making the journey west to seek to add to the five League of Ireland titles he won with Bohs and Shelbourne.

The Dubliner's preference is to take a job in either England or Scotland – and having turned down an approach by Linfield to replace David Jeffrey earlier this year, it is clear that it will take a lot of persuasion to keep him in Ireland.

Still, Sligo are prepared to deliver their best sales pitch after taking the surprise decision to dispense with Baraclough's services yesterday, despite the fact the Englishman enjoyed a hugely successful spell in charge of the club.

Although they lie fifth in the table, 17 points behind leaders Dundalk, Baraclough guided Sligo to three major trophies in his two and a half years at The Showgrounds, the last of which – the Setanta Cup – came just over a month ago.

Before then he ended a 35-year gap by guiding Sligo to the 2012 league title and while he fell short in his mission to win back-to-back crowns last year, the capture of a third FAI Cup for the club in four seasons was adequate compensation.

The club have just two weeks to find a new manager to take charge of their upcoming Europa League campaign, prompting them to concede that they would like to have a replacement lined up for next Friday's league meeting with Drogheda.

The Drogs, too, remain on the lookout for a new boss, although their search is further down the line, with two candidates, Liam Kelly and Pete Mahon, way ahead of the field.

Kelly – a successful manager in non-league terms – is the clear favourite.

Irish Independent

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