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Cook's cup final heroes facing an uncertain future

ON A high on Sunday, on the dole on Monday -- that's the scenario for the FAI Cup-winning heroes of Sligo Rovers as they fret about their futures.

Paul Cook's men capped off a very successful season by beating Shelbourne on penalties in the FAI Cup final on Sunday, a nice addition to the second-place finish in the league which had already secured Sligo a place in the Europa League for next season.

But once the parties had ended and the hangovers cleared, there was worry among the players about what happens next, as the entire Sligo squad is out of contract.

"We enjoyed the celebrations but players need to know what's going to happen. I am technically out of work and unemployed," said Jason McGuinness, who joined Sligo from Bohemians at the start of the season.

"We can't celebrate for too long, we're all out of contract as of now and we don't know where we stand.

"We all have bills to pay, mortgages to pay, and Christmas isn't far off. We might need to sell our medals on eBay," joked the Dubliner.

"In fairness to the club, they have been good to us all along and they said they will sit down with us next week to say what the story is, but if they don't move quickly I'm sure other clubs will be sniffing around.

"The club treated us well and there was no issue over wages or things like that, but the players need to know what the story is.

"And that could see some of this team move abroad. There's no money left in the league here any more, apart from Sligo or Shamrock Rovers there aren't many options in terms of a career move, especially in terms of being full time, it's not like a few years ago when you had Pats and Bohs and Drogheda and Cork all competing for players.

"I know that some lads will have to go abroad if they want to advance their careers, but I'd love to see this team stay together because we can achieve even more next season.

"Our aim is to stay intact as a unit, we don't want this team to break up because we want to build something here, not break it up.

"We feel we can challenge Shamrock Rovers next season, but we need to keep the players here."