New era for Rovers as Buck­ley takes the reins

The Sligo Champion - - SPORT - By JES­SICA FARRY

NEW Sligo Rovers man­ager Liam Buck­ley says he wants to bring suc­cess back to the club af­ter his ap­point­ment last Fri­day.

The for­mer St Pa­trick’s Ath­letic boss will join the Bit O’ Red on a one-year con­tract hav­ing won two Premier Di­vi­sions, two FAI Cups and two League Cups in his man­age­ment ca­reer so far.

It’s un­der­stood that there is an op­tion for a sec­ond year in his con­tract.

Buck­ley ex­plained how the move came about: “I got a phone call last week from one of the lads, and we took it on from there, I came to the Dun­dalk game, the Bohs game last Mon­day and made my mind up in the last day or two. I’m look­ing for­ward to it, it’s an­other chal­lenge. They did re­ally well this evening.”

He was un­veiled to fans at half­time dur­ing Sligo Rovers ver­sus Sham­rock Rovers on Fri­day night. This is a very dif­fer­ent chal­lenge for Buck­ley, but it is one he is look­ing for­ward to.

“I had to start some­where with Pats as well. We didn’t do too badly, espe­cially in the first few years. It’s a very im­por­tant off-sea­son in re­la­tion to play­ers sign­ing, re-sign­ing and play­ers com­ing in. They’re well equipped up here. Hope­fully next sea­son we can push.”

Buck­ley left St. Pa­trick’s Ath­letic in Septem­ber af­ter six years at the helm of the Saints. It was time, he felt, to move on.

“We won a few bits and pieces in the first few years, the last few years were more dif­fi­cult for a few rea­sons. It is what it is. We had a bit of suc­cess there so hope­fully if we can get any of that here.”

He is not daunted by Sligo Rovers’ re­cent man­age­rial his­tory, be­com­ing the 7th man at the helm of the club since 2014, and that’s not in­clud­ing in­terim man­agers Gavin Dykes, Joseph Ndo and Brian Dor­rian.

It’s the na­ture of the busi­ness. It’s a re­sults driven busi­ness. If you’re do­ing well in a job it’s ok, if you’re not do­ing well I think we all know as man­agers (what hap­pens). It’s up to me as man­ager to make sure that next sea­son we land run­ning, we need to get a nice strong group.”

The work will be­gin im­me­di­ately for Buck­ley, as it is vi­tal that play­ers learn whether or not the club wants to keep them, or whether they need to go search­ing for em­ploy­ment else­where.

“There’s a load of plan­ning that goes on for man­agers in terms of off-sea­son pro­grammes, pre-sea­son pro­grammes, and try­ing to sign play­ers, re-sign play­ers, it’s a very busy time, we will be sorted in the next few weeks.

“That will start from to­mor­row (Satur­day). I’ll in­tro­duce my­self to the lads, some will know me per­son­ally and move off from there. The per­for­mance tonight was great. To beat Sham­rock Rovers, bear­ing in mind they’ve qual­i­fied for Europe and there’s a bench­mark there. I was de­lighted tonight. We will push on.

“I’ve a cou­ple of bits and pieces in mind. Ev­ery­one is chas­ing all the play­ers, try­ing to strengthen squads. That will be one of our tar­gets and am­bi­tions over the next few years.”

And Buck­ley is hop­ing he can bring the glory days back to The Show­grounds.

“I’d like to be suc­cess­ful here. The last few jobs I’ve had I’ve re­ally en­joyed. I thor­oughly en­joyed my time with St. Pats, win­ning the cup for the first time in 50 odd years. Sport­ing Fingal, we won the cup as well. And I loved my time at Sham­rock Rovers and Athlone too.I’d love to en­joy this as much. I’m look­ing for­ward to it.”

Sligo Rovers’ new man­ager Liam Buck­ley is un­veiled to fans on Fri­day night at half-time. Pic: Carl Bren­nan.

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