The season has come around again and kicks off this weekend with a home encounter against AIL Div 1 side Galwegians in the Connacht Senior League. Simon Galvan’s men have been in pre-season now for nearly six weeks in preparation for the busy season ahead. The AIL fixtures have been set, with 7 home and 8 away games. The first AIL game sees Sligo at home to fellow newcomers to the AIL Boyne RFC. Boyne are strong outfit having come through as the Leinster Junior league champions last season.
This weekend sees Galwegians back to Strandhill. It is some years since Galwegians senior side have visited Sligo, when Sligo were last a senior club in 1998. Sligo RFC President John Kane would like to extend a very warm welcome to the Galwegians team, management and supporters coming to Sligo on Saturday.
The game is listed for Saturday with a 3pm kick off at Hamilton Park, Strandhill. Please be aware that the Warriors Run is also on in Strandhill on Saturday so parking in and around Strandhill will be limited. The Club car park is reserved for persons attending the match.
After the fantastic success of last season, Sligo welcome the re-appointment of Simon Galvan as senior coach. Simon was recently appointed as Director of Senior Rugby at the Club and the President and Club committee wish him well in the new position. The appointment of Dominic Storey as Senior Team Manager is a huge addition to the managment team. Also in the management team are the backline coach Paddy Pearson and Rodger Burrows.
On the field, Sligo welcome back former Sligo players Rory Kerins, Michael McMorrow, James Fox and Thomas Stenson – all rejoing the club.
While the Club strives to enhance the ties with Sligo IT a very special welcome goes out to French student Hugo Laffitte. Hugo is a former French U18 player and will be a welcome addition to the squad for the season ahead as he furthers his studies at Sligo IT.
Also coming in this season is Daniel Hawkins (pictured below) from New Zealand, arriving in Sligo next week. Daniel has been playing his rugby in Marlborough, New Zealand and earlier this month received the Marlborough Red Devils Player of the Year award. His CV reads well and is an exciting prospect at outhalf.
Photo courtesy of The Marlborough Express – see full article here.
Also new to the squad and the Club this year are front row players Shane McGuinness (Carrick-on-shannon) and Charlie Langley (Nenagh Ormond) – again both are very welcome to the Club.
In addition to the players transferring back and joining the Club, we have a number of former Club Youth players making the leap into senior rugby. In planning for the season ahead and indeed further into the future, Simon Galvan has identified the need to get the player conveyor belt back on track to ensure that the Club retains players produced by our Youth section. To that end, Simon invited a number of the Club’s U19’s to join the senior squad for pre-season training – Robbie Keegan, Gerard Keaney, Gary O’Hehir and Shaun Donnolly. Also in the squad are former Sligo Grammar School players John Healy, Thomas Ferrari and David Heath. A number of the U19 and former Grammar School players have earned a spot in the starring line-up in the senior side on Saturday against Galwegians – Gary O’Hehir at scrum-half and John Healy in the centre.
Special thanks goes out to those players from neighbouring clubs that joined the Sligo squad for pre-season training and we look forward to seeing some of those players appear for the Club under the dual status regulations in both the Connacht Senior League and the All Ireland League.
See you all Saturday – 3pm – come along and support the Club!