Sligo Rovers unveil pre-season program - including friendly in the Netherlands

Mon, Dec 18 2017

Lyttle took over the Sligo job in April and saw the club clear of relegation. Credit: Michael P Ryan

Sligo Rovers have confirmed their pre-season friendly program will kick off in the first week of January with a friendly away to Dutch amateur outfit RKSV Leonidas.


Gerard Lyttle's side will face the Rotterdam-based club on January 6th before returning to Ireland to continue their pre-season preparations.


The Bit o' Red will face Linfield at Windsor Park on January 15th and Galway United at Eamonn Deacy Park on the 26th.


They'll face local amateur side Ballisodare United two days later as part of the transfer agreement for midfielder John Mahon, before hosting Finn Harps at the Showgrounds on February 1st.


Lyttle is keen to get another fixture against a Northern Irish team, who are currently in the middle of their season, lined up before the season kicks off on February 16th.


Before all that, the Bit o' Red will benefit from the experience of training and playing in the Netherlands – a change of environment Lyttle feels will help the squad get to know each other.


“It isn’t about the game as much as an exercise in blending the squad together and team bonding. There are new players and it will help them get to know the lads here.


“We’ve secured the friendly from my own contacts and Gerry Cassidy’s," Lyttle told the club's website.


"A number of northern teams have played the game in recent years.


"Derry City did last season and they were keen again but we managed to get in there so it’s a nice lift for us and really adds to our pre-season. It’s a real bonus.”


Leonidas hosted Derry City at the same stage last season – Kenny Shiels' side won 2-1 thanks to goals from Rory Patterson and Joshua Daniels.


The hosts have made travel arragements for the Bit o' Red so fans hoping to attend the game will have to make their own way to Rotterdam.


Leonidas compete in Hoofdklaase Zondag A, the fifth tier of Dutch football and the second level of the amateur pyramid.