EIGHT PLAYERS have already been contracted for Sligo Rovers next season which begins in Spring 2018.
The latest names were confirmed by the club on Saturday: Kyle Callan-McFadden and Rhys McCabe.
They join Michael Schlingermann, Regan Donelon, Craig Roddan, Jack Keaney, John Mahon and reserve goalkeeper Ed McGinty.
Season 2018 marks a milestone, as the club will celebrate its ninetieth birthday.
Bit o’ Red boss Ger Lyttle: "For me Kyle is one of the best centre
backs in the league. He's got everything, he puts his body on the line.
“He can play as well, he's got a turn of pace and attacks the ball really well.
“More important what he has shown me is huge leadership qualities in this campaign.
‘’He grew in confidence and he became a man in a matter of months,” said Lyttle.
There will be little surprise that Scotsman Rhys McCabe has been retained after his key role in the relegation dogfight.
His goals in the run-in, as Sligo Rovers battled fiercely to save their premier status, were vital to survival.
Lyttle: "Rhys' qualities are right through. He's got all you
want as a midfielder and his talents are very clear.
“Again he has that leadership. He gelled the squad together.
“He kept people motivated and he's really important for the future of this club.
"It's important we can keep players like Rhys and Kyle and it's a standard for us.”
Added Lyttle: "It's important we move quickly and don't stall.
hard times as well for players out of contract. It's been difficult the
last month or so to keep the head and not knowing where there future
"In the next week or two it's going to be all hands to the pump in terms of speaking to players.
the players that aren't going to be here it's important we show the
respect and speak to them and move on,” the manager explained.
The commitment for season 2018 has already been welcomed by the players involved.
Callan-McFadden said: "I'm delighted to be here for another year. I really want us to push on next season.
loved it here this year. This league is very under-rated. I've really
enjoyed my time here so I'm delighted to stay for another year.
"In the first two or three games it took me a while to find my feet.
“Playing in America, it's a much slower pace to the game. It's really in your face here.
"After those first two or three games, I started to find my feet and then I really started to enjoy myself.”
Added Callan-McFadden: “I think that showed in some performances as well."
He relished the atmosphere in the Rovers dressing room: "The lads are great. It's one of the tightest groups I've worked with.
“It shows how tight we were to get us out of this relegation battle,” said Callan-McFadden.
“The gaffer came in and he said it was his job to keep us out of the division below and he did.
"We're a close-knit team and we're really looking forward to next season to do better things.
want to go into pre-season and hit the ground running. Hopefully we can
end up the table higher. This is about building for next season."