Rumori di Spogliatoio

Sander and Sligo Rovers Both Waiting for Season to Start

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!

After five games of the new SSE Airtricity League season it’s fair to say that it has been a frustrating start for both Sligo Rovers and Estonian international Sander Puri as to date neither have lived up to their pre-season billing. Last Friday was the chance for them to make a statement as they travelled to take on the reigning Premier Division champions Dundalk in a live televised game.

It didn’t happen.

Dundalk continued with their 100% start to the season as they won 3-0 with David McMillan getting one of their goal and Richie Towel the other two. They were deserving winners but there were some signs of green shoots of recovery for Rovers in the game but then again when it comes to the Bit O’Red I am an eternal optimist!
For Sander it was another week of sitting on bench as he remained an unused substitute. 

Rovers now face into another weekend of double fixtures as on Good Friday they are home to Bray Wanderers and then on Easter Monday they are home to Derry City in the EA Sports Cup so Sander should feature in one if not both of those games. Cork City and Shamrock Rovers are just about keeping pace with Dundalk as Cork beat Bray Wanderers 1-0 while the Hoops played out a goal-less draw with Bohemian F.C. Derry City beat Drogheda United 3-0, St. Patrick’s Athletic were 2-1 winners away to Limerick and Longford Town made it back to back wins in the league as they beat Galway United 2-1. In the First Division Athlone Town had an impressive 3-1 win away against Shelbourne in Tolka Park while Finn Harps kept up their good start with a 2-0 home win against Cobh Ramblers. Wexford Youth beat UCD 1-0 and Cabinteely had a similar result against Waterford United. 

The money prizes increase (click to enlarge - ECA)

The big news of the week for clubs in both Ireland and Estonia was of course the increase in the prize money for the qualifying rounds of both the Champions League and the Europa League.

his is a very significant increase as take for example Dundalk who will now receive a minimum €500,000 for taking part in the Champions League qualifiers while clubs like St. Patrick’s Athletic, Cork City and Shamrock Rovers will each receive a minimum of €200,000 for competing in the Europa League qualifiers. Of course should any of these teams progress then they will make more, a great incentive as this is season defining money especially given that you get €100,000 for winning the league in Ireland.

These clubs can use this money to strengthen their squads cushioned by the fact that they know what they will be getting.

For other clubs come July when the window opens and if they are in contention for a European place then the temptation will be there to throw money at bringing in players. This has happened many times in Ireland and will happen again where clubs put all their eggs in the one basket. I would love to think that this money could be used for ground works, improving facilities, establishing proper under-age structures or even adding women’s teams to clubs but I have a feeling that the lessons of the past haven’t been learned.

And that teams will continue to chase short glory at the expense of long term stability but we’ll see!

Until next week,

Keith O’Dwyer.