Wednesday 26 June 2019

Raff Cretaro brings his Sligo Rovers career to an end after 18 years and 531 league appearances

Sligo's Raffaele Cretaro
Sligo's Raffaele Cretaro

Aidan Fitzmaurice

Sligo Rovers legend Raff Cretaro admits to feeling sadness as he ends his long spell with the Bit O’Red.

Cretaro made a club record of 531 league appearances in a spell which saw him make his debut for Rovers in 2000, and the Tubbercurry man was at the Showgrounds for highlights such as the league title win, FAI Cup successes and European football.

But he says it’s now time to move on. Cretaro (37) announced his move to newly-promoted Finn Harps, his part-time deal suiting him at this stage of his carrer. “There is a little bit of sadness that it’s over now as a Sligo Rovers player. I realise that and there’s a mixture of emotions,” said Cretaro, who spent his career with Sligo Rovers bar brief spells with Galway United and Bohemians.

“Wherever I went I always felt I didn’t just represent myself but I represented Sligo Rovers. It was not me as a person that people were viewing, it was the club.

“I love Rovers, I always had its best interest at heart and I probably put it ahead of my own sometimes, but it was worth it on every occasion.

“I will move to part-time football and that’ll suit me at this stage in my career. Those games are Friday nights.

“On a Saturday I can say you’ll very likely find me in The Showgrounds with my son Matteo supporting the team again.

“My dream was to play for Sligo Rovers. I didn’t know if it was going to last for one game, one start or one year. I just wanted to fulfil my dream.

“I wanted to dedicate myself to that for how ever long it lasted, I’m proud to say I did.”

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