The action might be over on the pitch but there is certainly lots happening off the pitch in the SSE Airtricity League. Plenty of new signings and re-signings, along with potentially two new clubs entering the league. In an expected move it was announced that Treaty United from Limerick have been invited to apply for a licence for the First Division for 2021.
They already have underage sides in the League and a ladies team and were expected to enter a senior men’s side. Also invited to apply are Dublin County FC who would be a new side if they were successful. They are backed by a consortium of businesspeople from Ireland and abroad. One side that was not invited to apply were Dublin one St. Francis who previously played in the First Division before. They still have long term plans to re-enter senior football.
Meanwhile, it was a busy week for Sligo Rovers. They started by announcing that their top scorer from the 2019 season, Romeo Parkes, was returning for 2021. He had been on loan with American side New Mexico as he was required to spend another year in the States to get his visa. They then announced the signing of versatile Waterford player, Robbie McCourt.
And then they finished it with the signing of experienced midfielder Greg Bolger. He had just won the league with Shamrock Rovers and previously played for Liam Buckley at St. Patrick’s Athletic, with whom he also won the league. It was a busy week also for newly promoted Drogheda United. They have brought in two very experienced players as they look to prepare for life in the First Division.
Striker Dinny Corcoran comes to United Park after a long spell with Bohemian FC. He also previously played for Sligo Rovers. Also joining is midfielder Gary Deegan from relegated Shelbourne. Staying at the club is their highly-rated goal-keeper David Odumosu, he had been on trial with Watford. One club on the lookout for another goalkeeper are Dundalk.
Gary Rogers announced his retirement after the conclusion of their Europa League campaign on Thursday night. The end of a trophy-laden and history-making career. He won leagues with Sligo Rovers and Dundalk and won every major honour in the game in Ireland, including most recently the FAI Cup with Dundalk.
He also played twice for the Lillywhites in the group stages of the Europa League. As a result, he holds the record for most European appearances for a player from the league with 45 under his belt. I am sure he won’t be inactive for long and that he will be involved back in football in some capacity.