Sligo looking to future with new deal for North
Sligo Rovers celebrated the opening of a new stand at the Showgrounds yesterday by tying down top scorer Danny North to a new deal.
The striker has scored 17 goals in just 20 matches for Rovers since his switch from St Patrick's Athletic at the end of last season.
And boss Ian Baraclough has responded by extending the hotshot's contract for another year until the end of the 2013 season amid rumours of interest from clubs in England.
"I think it shows the intent of the football club. We are not just looking short-term for this season, we are also looking at the following season," Baraclough said.
"This club needs to grow year on year -- it's not a case of 'win something and that's job done'."
Baraclough's signings since he took over at the Showgrounds -- Ryan Connolly, Jeff Henderson and Seamus Conneely -- have all also extended their contracts until the end of next season.
Sligo's new stand at the Railway End of the Showgrounds will provide them with 1,300 extra seats in time for next week's Europa League tie against FC Spartak Trnava.
The club had to install temporary seating to meet UEFA requirements last season, but opted to put in the permanent stand for this year's European campaign.
Rovers fly out to Slovakia this morning ahead of the first leg of their second qualifying round tie on Thursday. Defender Alan Keane is a doubt having picked up an injury in last Friday's league defeat of Derry City, but the Bit O'Red will bring a full squad to Trnava.
North expressed his delight at extending his stay with the club.
"I'm delighted to get my future sorted for another year. I could never have dreamed it would go so well (at Sligo) to be honest. I'm always looking to be amongst the goals, but to get so many early on, you've got to be happy with that," he said.
"It's nice to know where my future lies -- there is that little bit less pressure. The club came to me and wanted to tie me down and the deal was right, so I signed it."
He added: "I wouldn't have come here if I didn't think it was right for me. Things have got better and better and hopefully they can keep going."