Sligo Rovers have further added to the 2017 squad with the re-signing of two more players.
John Russell and Michael Leahy have signed new one-year contracts for remain at The Showgrounds for the next season.
Midfielder Russell is one of Rovers’ most experienced players, now in his second spell with the club.
After initially being part of the Bit o’Red between 2010 and 2011 Russell re-joined for the 2014 season after two years spent at St. Patrick’s Athletic and will now be going into his sixth campaign with Rovers.
In total Russell has now made 152 appearances in his Rovers career and scored 17 goals.
The 2016 was one of the 31 year-old’s best making 29 appearances and scoring one in a 3-2 home win over Shamrock Rovers.
Defender Michael Leahy will now spend a second consecutive year in Sligo following his first in 2016.
Leahy joined Rovers in February having spent most of his career with U.C.D. where he began his career and captained the team. He also had one season playing with Limerick in 2014.
Leahy, 27, has plenty of League of Ireland experience with a total 177 appearances made in his career to date.
He quickly became a regular in the Bit o’Red in 2016 and played in 29 games during the season.
Twelve of the 2016 squad have now been signed for the new season and beyond with Craig Roddan, Micheal Schlingermann, Kieran Sadlier, Gary Boylan, Daniel Kearns, Raff Cretaro, Regan Donelon, Tobi Adebayo-Rowling, Mikey Place and Gary Armstrong already signed.
Dave Robertson is delighted with making two further signings from the 2016 squad to continue the progress already made in building for 2017.
He identified both Russell and Leahy has key parts of his squad-building with the experience that they bring to the club.
Robertson on taking the number of players confirmed to 12: “I am really happy with these two signings that we have made. Both are players that played a key role for us in the 2016 season. And both are two that I expect to have a big part to play in what will be a big season for us in 2017.”
John Russell made his most appearances in a season since 2011 in the past season and Robertson credits that to working with Russell on managing his workload:
“Managing John’s workload is very important to make sure that he is available for us when he is needed. We want to make sure that he is available for us in key games. You can pick out certain games from last year where he put in really important displays. One in particular I can think of was against Dundalk at Oriel Park where he put in a huge workload for us.
“John is one that has Sligo in his blood, he really loves this club. He does everything he can to help bring success here.”
The Rovers manager is also a big fan of Leahy with his playing style correlating exactly with how he wants his team to play:
“He was one of our most consistent players right throughout the year. He was a good “7/10” every week. He is a solid defender who can also play as well. He is also good in the air so he is a versatile centre-half. He showed his value and his worth to the squad during last season so it is a real pleasure to have him signed again.
“Mick epitomises everything that we want to have here, he is not just a great player but also a great person and professional to have around the club.”
Robertson is also working hard on adding fresh faces to The Showgrounds squad and progress is being made which should be seen in the coming weeks and months:
“There is a lot of working going on getting a good squad together for next year. There is four players that we have lined up and hope to sign in early December. We are really pleased with what we have done so far. Then we will look for another three or four more when the January transfer window opens.”