Heary Relishing Sligo Challenge


New Sligo Rovers manager Owen Heary envisaged putting his stamp on Sligo Rovers as he was unveiled as their new manager yesterday on a two year contract.

Chairman Joe Burns spoke first about the appointment: “I think the season we are going into will be one of the most exciting seasons in the club’s history and that is saying something given the club’s recent history.

“I’d like to thank the people who were involved in the interview process for selecting the new manager. We had applications from all over the world but we were looking for someone to bring passion, leadership, determination and a drive for success to the Showgrounds. In Owen Heary we have a man who has one seven League of Ireland titles, two FAI Cups, been named Player of the Year twice and is someone who brought Bohs from struggling to stay in Premier Division to finishing just three points behind us this season.

“I have seen in him an enthusiasm for what we are about to embark on and a determination to get us into Europe. I am absolutely confident that with the support of the Rovers faithful, Owen’s determination, the quality players he will bring to the club and with the development of the players we have at the club already that we are in for a really successful year.”

Former Bohemians manager Owen Heary then spoke about the type of players he wants to see playing for the club: “We are looking to bring in people with a hunger, first and foremost, that are willing to play for the jersey. We see in the league players have moved around different clubs but in Sligo they have had a core team which has been successful but maybe the fact that it hasn’t been added to is why they didn’t challenge for the league this year.

“The facilities we have here are the best in the country and we need to get a team to match that. And to match the passion of the people at the club and if we can get that on the pitch then we can at least be up there challenging for the league every year or be there or thereabouts.”

On the make-up of the squad he would like Heary said: “We want a squad of twenty and that would include a couple of the younger lads. I started playing in the league at 16 years of age so if I can do it I am sure there is plenty of other players out there that can. We seen with Gary Armstrong this year, he played a couple of games at the end of the year and scored against Pats on the final day. He has good quality about him and young Gary Boylan as well.

“So there is some good players in the under-19s and we just need to bring them through and show them that there is a pathway for them and let them go out and play. Just because you are the biggest name player in the league doesn’t give you the right to go out and play every week, you have to earn it.

“Everyone who signs will be moving to Sligo and be full-time like myself. The training facilities here are the best in the country and it’s important that we use them to their max and that means that players have to live up here. I don’t want players just to come up for the sake of me being here, I want them to come here because they want to be here. That’s why I want players from around the country that want to be here for the reasons of winning trophies, qualifying for Europe and challenging for leagues. It shouldn’t be about me it should be about getting a squad in to achieve that.

“They style of football depends on the players depends on the players we sign. First and foremost I want to make the Showgrounds a difficult place for teams to come and take points off us. That has to be the goal at the start of the season and get points on the board. The first five games of any season aren’t about how you play it’s about getting the points on the board and then your style of play will come through as we go along. It will be a work in progress but it depends on the players we bring in.”

On his targets for the club in his first season: “The aim is to win the league, there can’t be any other aim. There’s no point entering a league if you don’t think you can win it. I often say that why is a player with a lesser known player not expected to win the league but when he steps up to a club that is expected to win the league then he’s expected to win the league. It shouldn’t be any different wherever you go. The emphasis has to be on winning the league and you strive for that, if in the end you’re not good enough well then at least you have something to strive for.

“Gavin Dykes is staying on and that is important for me because I know him very well and he knows the club very well. He knows the passion and that’s what I want to tap into. I’ll be honest I don’t know much about the club as a whole and that’s why having him there is vital for me because he knows everyone, he knows the players from last season and he knows the under-19s. I am trying to get as much information as I possibly can over the next couple of weeks.”

Heary has revealed his first four signings having secured the signatures of Kevin Devaney, Dinny Corcoran and Steven Beattie from Bohs and Keith Ward from Dundalk.

Image courtesy of Youtube


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