Sligo boss Cook seizes his chance as North goes west to Sligo
DANNY NORTH yesterday joined Sligo Rovers on a free transfer as manager Paul Cook took advantage of the uncertainty surrounding St Patrick's Athletic.
After finishing as the club's top scorer this year, North last night revealed that he has had no contact from the Saints since the end of the season.
In contrast, Cook was quick to make a move for a man who contributed 15 league goals to the St Pat's cause in the campaign.
The Saints have yet to confirm a manager for 2012. They are due to meet with out-of-contract incumbent Pete Mahon tomorrow.
Mahon has overseen a period of competitiveness and stability since arriving at Inchicore midway through the 2009 season, despite working on a significantly smaller budget than his predecessors, but he has yet to be offered a new deal.
Most of the Saints' players are out of contract and many are believed to have entered into discussions with other clubs about signing for next season.
North is the first to leave, but others look likely to follow. "I'd have considered staying at St Pat's, but none of the lads have heard anything. I didn't want to just hang on until Pat's were ready," he said. "I really just wanted to sort my future out as quickly as possible."
While the future at St Pat's is uncertain, Sligo's planning for next season is well under way.
Ireland U-21 international Aaron Greene became the latest player to sign a new deal, joining Gavin Peers and Alan Keane in committing to Sligo, as Cook continues to build despite the loss of captain Richie Ryan to Dundee United.
North is looking to win things at his new club. "Any player wants to win trophies and Sligo are getting there, they are improving each season. Hopefully, I can play a part in improving them again."
Meanwhile, Shelbourne have secured the signatures of David Cassidy, Philip Hughes and Stephen Paisley for next season. The trio are the first of this year's squad to re-commit to the Reds for next season, but Alan Mathews is expected to add to his squad in the coming days.