SSE Airtricity League Wrap Up Week Ending 26th November DUNDALK STARTING TO SHAPE THEIR SQUAD FOR 2018

Dundalk have made their first new signings as they look to put together a squad that can reclaim the Premier Division title next season. At the launch of their new jersey on Friday they announced three new additions. Stephen Folan a centre-half signed from Galway United, left back Dean Jarivs signed from Derry City and Pat Hoban returns to the club that he left in 2014. He had spells with Grimsby Town and Mansfield Town. Hoban is a crucial signing for the club as they look set to lose their striker David McMillan who is expected to sign for Scottish side St. Johnstone. Talks are at an advanced stage with their manager Tommy Wright already talking about what he thinks McMillan will bring to the team. In what was a relatively quiet week in terms of transfer activity the other club that were the most active were Bohemian FC. They are looking to build on the progress they made in 2017 when they went from relegation candidates to challenging for European qualification.

Midfielders Keith Ward and Eoghan Morgan have signed new deals with the club as has goal-keeper Colin McCabe. Versatile midfielder JJ Lunney has joined from St. Patrick’s Athletic and the club have also brought in Romanian striker Cristian Magerusan. Magerusan had been playing in the Leinster Senior League with Lucan United and was previously on the books of CFR Cluj. Manager Keith Long has also added to his coaching staff with Chris Bennion coming in as goal-keeping coach, he had been working with Drogheda United. Drogheda parted ways with their manager Pete Mahon following on from their relegation to the First Division and all of his staff followed suit. It is a frustrating time for First Division clubs with still no official word on whether or not there will be promotion play-offs. There have also been rumours that Bray Wanderers mightn’t get a Premier Division licence next season which could mean a reprieve for one of Drogheda, Galway United or Finn Harps. Never a dull moment!

The lifeblood of all clubs in the SSE Airtricity League are the people who give their time and volunteer to help out and nowhere are they more relevant that Sligo Rovers which is a co-operative run club and would not function without all the people who volunteer. The club lost one of them during the week with the passing of Gerard Kelly who was a match night steward at the club. He was more affectionately known as ‘Galway Gerry’ because that is where he was from hence the imaginative nickname! He had been an alcoholic and beat that and got involved with the club to keep himself busy. He died after a battle with cancer and had no family but made a lot of friends from his time with the Showgrounds which is why I felt he deserved a mention here. People like him are so important to clubs like Rovers. May he Rest in Peace.