Where are they now? Nicky Broujos (Ex-Sligo Rovers goalkeeper)
Published 06/03/2011 | 05:00
In the early 1980s former League of Ireland goalkeeper Nicky Broujos struggled to find his way in the world of football.
He had just finished college in the United States and at that time there was no outdoor league in America.
The only way Broujos could get a game was to play centre-forward for the semi-pros.
Around then it wasn't unusual for Irish managers to scout for players in America. Pat Devlin, who was the boss at Bray Wanderers at the time, went to a semi-pro game, saw Broujos make a rare appearance in goal and offered him a spot on the Bray squad.
When Broujos started with the Wicklow side there were already three 'keepers in the squad and he struggled to get game time so Devlin let him play with TEK United in the Leinster Senior League.
They made it through to the FAI Cup, with Broujos playing well and making a few headlines and Paddy Mulligan, who was manager at Shelbourne, came calling.
The goalkeeper secured a starting spot on the Shels team straight away, earned two man of the match performances in back-to-back games against Shamrock Rovers and from there things really took off for him.
Broujos also maintained his ties with his home country, spending the Irish off-season playing with the Maryland Bays.
In 1989, he signed for Sligo Rovers. Apart from being a goalkeeper, he was also the commercial director of the club, responsible for raising funds.
Broujos retired from the game in 2004 but is still hugely involved with Rovers and believes that the future of the club looks bright.
"If you look at our club over the years, it was run by volunteers," he says. "We're back full-time and we have a full-time committee with a general manager. Everything is running smoothly. The whole essence of the team is the way people get behind them, it's vital for the team's success and really makes the club special.
"However, I think the League in general needs more marketing and needs to move back to winter football. The summer football just doesn't do it for me. But overall I think there is definitely a future for it."
Broujos is now the Irish agent for German sports manufacturer Jako. The company sells wholesale sport and leisure wear and also sponsors Sligo Rovers.
Sunday Indo Sport