Rumori di Spogliatoio

New Dawn Yet to Rise for Sligo Rovers

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!

'Nothing goes!' seems to say Sligo's coach, Owen Heary (

'Nothing goes!' seems to say Sligo's coach, Owen Heary (

Usually every week on this blog I give a wrap up of the week’s results in the SSE Airtricity League but this week will be a little different as I will be concentrating on the fortunes to date of Sligo Rovers.

Anyways there hasn’t been much change in the Premier Division Dundalk, Cork City and Shamrock Rovers are going to be teams that will contest the title and in the First Division it looks like it will be between Finn Harps, Shelbourne and Athlone Town.

It wasn’t a good few days for Sligo Rovers but strangely the week ended on a positive note. On Good Friday Rovers were beaten 3-1 at home by Bray Wanderers in what was a real upset as going into the game Bray’s manager had just left and they hadn’t scored a goal let alone won a game! Yet David Cassidy scored a hat-trick two of which were penalties, Steven Beattie scored for Rovers. Both teams had a man sent off. Then on Easter Monday Rovers took on Derry again at home in the second round of the EA Sports Cup and were beaten 2-0 after extra time and again had a man sent off.

A Sligo starting XI during pre-season including also Sander Puri

A Sligo starting XI during pre-season including also Sander Puri

That led to a lot of anger among supporters and finger pointing as to where it is all going wrong but I tend to look at it differently and ask why hasn’t it gone right yet? When Owen Heary was appointed manager I was delighted as I was impressed with the job he did at Bohs and he is widely regarded as one of the most talented young managers in the league. But there is a difference managing a club where you are expected to just stay in the league and managing a club who are expected to win the league. And that is what Sligo Rovers supporters expect and demand a team that will challenge for the league or at the very worst claim an European place. They have been conditioned to accept that and find it hard to accept that maybe this is a transitional season and that is a problem. Because it is a year of transition, the team on which Rovers success was built is aging and he signed nine new players and wants to promote a few of the U-19’s as well and all of that means it will take time for a side to gel. As well he has shown some indecision in picking a settled team.


It changes every week and the formation has changed a couple of times as well which doesn’t help the players but his hand has been forced by injuries and suspensions, he needs to pick a team and stick with them and see how they go. For the new signings it takes time to adapt as well, some of them have moved from Sligo to Dublin, some from abroad. I get accused of always looking through rose tinted glasses when it comes to Rovers and I understand why and even now I still think that the season will be turned around, the problem will be trying to qualify for Europe as Rovers have a lot of ground to make up.

It has been a tough introduction to life in Ireland for Sander Puri as well, he was a sub for the Bray game and came on after 67 minutes but never settled into the game and then against Derry he wasn’t in the squad at all. It has to be frustrating for him as everyone knows that he is a good player but he just hadn’t been able to showcase that yet.

Which is why developments this week should help him as Rovers brought in two new coaches in Liam O’Brien and club legend Joseph Ndo.

Liam O'Brien during his time at Man United

Liam O'Brien during his time at Man United

Both have huge experience and crucially both believe in playing positive attacking football and will encourage that. O’Brien is a former Irish international who has played for both Manchester United and Newcastle United while Ndo is a former Cameroon international who has played in two World cups, won the African Cup of Nations and he is man who kick-started this modern era of success for Rovers when he signed in 2010.

Their arrival has given everyone a lift and now that has to be built on by getting a result tonight as Rovers travel to play Galway United, kick off is at 9:45pm Estonian time and I will be doing commentary for Ocean FM and you listen in through the website

Until next week,

Keith O’Dwyer