Saturday 20 July 2019

Rovers return for pre-season, as more signings are expected

Sligo Rovers returned from their Christmas break last Thursday to get pre-season underway.

The squad currently comprises of the following: Ronan Murray, Dante Leverock, Johnny Dunleavy, Regan Donelon, Kyle Callan-McFadden, Mitchell Beeney, Ed McGinty, John Mahon, Jack Keaney, David Cawley, Kris Twardek, Liam Kerrigan, Niall Morahan and Luke MacNicholas.

Patrick McClean has returned to his hometown club Derry City, with his brother James, Republic of Ireland international, rumoured to have forked out the fee on behalf of the Candystripes in order for him to return.

It is still unclear as to whether or not Rhys McCabe will be back at the club.

The Bit O'Red were rumoured last week to be interested in both Rory Patterson and John Herron.

Striker Patterson is well known to League of Ireland fans having haunted many defences in the league during his spells with Derry City.

The 34-year-old is currently on the books of Northern Irish Premiership champions Crusaders.

Former Celtic midfielder Herron currently plays for Glentoran, and was forced to come off early during his side's Irish Cup defeat to Crusaders on Saturday as a result of a facial injury.

Elsewhere, there is speculation in the United States that Rovers are interested in Jamaican striker Romeo Parkes.

Parkes was plying his trade with Pittsburgh Riverhounds in 2016 when he gained international infamy.

Parkes received an indefinite ban from FIFA and had his contract terminated by Pittsburgh after he kicked an opponent in the back, unprovoked, while he was walking off the pitch.

In 2017, he returned to Pittsburgh.

He was named in Jamaica's squad for the Copa América.

Rovers boss Liam Buckley told the club website: "We've our pre-season games lined up and will confirm them shortly. We can't formally announce them just yet.

"We'll be looking at predominantly away matches with one on the main Showgrounds pitch. We hope to announce five to six games soon with the exact details.

"In terms of signings, it'll be a few more days before we can announce more additions but good progress has been made and we've one or two more that are very close.

"I've been here just over two months, signed some what I think will be good players and I could go sign more players for the sake of it.

"That isn't what we're about. We want players that will make an impact at Sligo Rovers and that come from good backgrounds to make a difference here.

"We're looking at next week. There's a lot of work going on behind the scenes and it takes time and patience to get things over the line.

"We'll have the players in tonight for a meeting ahead of being on the pitch tomorrow. The games will start in or around two weeks' time.

"We've been going about our business behind the scenes to get a good squad raring to go that first game of the season and you'll see the fruits of that over the next while."

Sligo Champion