It was a big week for Premier Division side Bray Wanderers as after a lot of questions about their long term future they announced that Dave Mackey was their manager along with a host of resigning’s and signing’s. Staying on at the Carlisle Grounds are Conor Kenna, Hugh Douglas, John Sullivan, Gary McCabe and Ger Pender. Joining are Dylan Hayes, Paul O’Conor, Sean Heaney, Darragh Gibbons and Jake Kelly and they had been with respectively Bohemian FC, St. Patrick’s Athletic, Shamrock Rovers and Longford Town last season. Question marks still remain about the long-term future of their ground as it is believed that the club’s investors would like to sell the ground for development and build on a greenfield site. One player who did leave Bray during the week was Keith Buckley who rejoined his former club Bohemian FC. It wasn’t as good a week for Limerick FC as they announced that their manager Neil McDonald had left to become assistant manager of Scunthorpe United. Eric Kinder is in temporary charge as the club begins their search for a new manager amid a backdrop of rumours of reduced investment in the squad. It wouldn’t be the SSE Airtricity League if there weren’t rumours of financial difficulties at one club or another!
With the league due to begin in February it meant that nearly all of the clubs started back for pre-season during the week and Sligo Rovers were no different as they started back on Thursday. They also had their first friendly as they traveled to Rotterdam on Saturday to take on Dutch Fourth Division side RKSV Leonidas. A novel fixture and a good way for the club to gauge the fitness of players. Leonidas actually paid to bring Rovers over and had done the same last year with Derry City. There is actually a strong connection between the North West of Ireland and Leonidas as their chairman Geert Hof owns property in the area. He used to send over players to Rovers and my brother Barry once had a trial with Leonidas. Anyways back to the game Rovers won 5-4. Caolan McAleer and Greg Moorhouse scored two of the goals with the other three coming from two members of the ever expanding trialist family. There were three trialists involved for Rovers during the game. Some rumours on the names but nothing firm. Staying with the Lowlands and you might remember that last week I had wrote how Darren Meenan was due to sign for Belgian Fourth Division side RDWM as he felt their offer was too good to turn down. Well turn it down he did as he signed for First Division side Longford Town preferring the Midlands of Ireland to the Lowland of Belgium!