Rumori di Spogliatoio

Mid-Season Break Gives Chance for Reflection

Angelo PalmeriComment

'Rumori' tries to bring coverage of as many continental leagues as possible.

For the SSE Airtricity League (or also known as 'League oif Ireland') we are counting on the insider look of Keith O'Dwyer

Keith has worked for several years at the Irish club Sligo Rovers as he was the Club Promotion Officer and Secretary. He is now a volunteer within the club and the match commentator for local radio, Ocean FM.

'Radio Ireland' will bring stories and inside look from the Irish football realm.

Not to mention that Sander Puri is now a player at Sligo and we will follow him very closely this season!

As in Estonia the SSE Airtricity League in Ireland is currently on its mid-season break with action not due to resume until Friday 26th June. For many players this is their chance to go on holiday and for every club it is an opportunity to reflect on how the first half of the season has gone. And for Estonia’s favourite Irish club Sligo Rovers™ this is particularly pertinent. Things have not panned out as planned and Rovers find themselves third from bottom and currently embroiled in the relegation battle. Also the uncertainty over the future of manager Owen Heary exists. He is still officially listed as manager but for the club’s last game before the break which was home to defending champions and current leaders Dundalk it was Joseph Ndo who was in the dugout and he also had taken the tea training during the week. Heary in fact was in Dublin the night of the game watching his former side Bohemian F.C. take on Shamrock Rovers. At the time of writing the terms of departure for Heary had still not been sorted and as such the club can issue no statement. In the absence of a statement there has been no shortage of rumours with the strongest being that he had been asked to come back and another that he was asked to stay on as manager in name only while Joseph takes training and picks the team.

Heary's job might be already over after the midseason break.

Heary's job might be already over after the midseason break.

In lieu of a settlement and with his position now fairly untenable it could well be that he might have to be placed on ‘gardening leave’ while a replacement is found. While Joseph would be the popular choice for both players and supporters alike sadly he does not yet have the required coaching badges that would allow him to take charge but should certainly be involved in whatever the set-up is going forward. It was clear that he an impact on the players given the performance that they put in against Dundalk as while they lost 2-1 the home supporters went home as happy as you can be when your side lose a game given the level of their performance and effort. Rovers started well with Sander Puri going close after three minutes as he had an effort cleared off the line. Puri had another good game and is really starting to emerge as a player of note in the league. The one criticism I would have of him from the first half of the season is that sometimes he holds onto the ball too much dribbling into dead ends or losing possession, definitely something that can be worked on. A long range strike from Morten Nielsen gave Rovers the lead as they played a high tempo game switching from 4-5-1 to 4-3-3 depending on whether they had the ball or not.

Ndo is a former player of Sligo

Ndo is a former player of Sligo

They couldn’t hold that for 90 minutes though and it is always hard to keep a side like Dundalk out and an own goal from Danny Ledwith and then a second half penalty which was converted by Richie Towell saw them pick up the three points. So going into the break it remains pretty much a three horse race for the title with Dundalk leading the way and looking odds on to retain their crown. In the First Division Finn Harps are starting to stumble but remain top but Athlone Town have closed the gap. As the dust settles and the teams regroup we await confirmation of just who will be in charge of Sligo Rovers when the league resumes!

Until next week,