Manager: Gerard Lyttle
Ground: The Showgrounds
Players In: Allister Roy (Heart, loan), Adam Morgan (Halifax Town), Adam Wixted (Drogheda Town), David Cawley (Galway United), Eduardo Pincelli, Lewis Morrison, Jack Keaney,
Players Out: Mick Leahy, Benny Igiehon, Tobi Adebayo-Rowling, Daniel Kearns, Omar Houghton, Chris Kenny
Extratime.ie Key Man: Adam Morgan
This was a hard one for me to pick because of the performances of Kyle Callan-Mc Fadden and Rhys Mc Cabe last season. It came as no surprise to me when they were named as captain and vice-captain of the club for the 2018.
Morgan, though could turn out to be a shrewd signing for the Bit O’Red. With an eye for goal Morgan was once compared to a young Robbie Fowler when he was at the Liverpool academy. He could turn out to be the striker Sligo fans have been screaming out for since Danny North left to join Shamrock Rovers a few years back.
Extratime.ie One to Watch: Regan Donelon
2017 was no doubt Donelon’s best season in the red and white jersey. He cemented himself as manager Gerard Lyttle’s first choice left back.
His ability to get up and down the left side of the pitch was something that had fans singing in the terraces last season. Now one of the first names on the Sligo team sheet, Donelon has to show that he has improved after last season’s performances. If he can perform at a high level next season there is no reason why he can’t make the move across the water.
How they did last season:
League: For the fans, last season was a nail biter. With 3 teams being relegated to the First Division it looked for the majority of the season one of those teams would be the Bit O’Red. A 3-0 win over Derry City towards the end of the season was enough though to guarantee the club’s status as a Premier Division team for the 2018 season.
FAI Cup: Sligo were knocked out of the cup after a disappointing 4-2 loss to First Division side Longford Town. For much of the game they were off the pace and Longford were good value for their win.
EA Sports Cup: The Bit O’Red got as far as the quarter finals of the completion before bowing out to Connaught neighbours Galway United 3-1 on penalties. The game finished 2-2 in ordinary time but Galway took their chances from the penalty spot and progressed to the next round.
Irn-Bru Cup: Sligo were drawn at home to Scottish side Falkirk in the first time clubs from the League of Ireland were invited into the competition. Although the team gave a good account of themselves on the pitch they bowed out of the competition losing 2-1 to the Scottish side.
What to expect this season:
For Sligo fans the main hope will be that the club won’t be flirting with relegation for most of the season like they have been in 2 out of the past 3 seasons. Gerard Lyttle has assembled a squad that looks good on paper and the fact that the club held on to both McCabe and Callan-Mc Fadden is an added bonus.
Manager Lyttle will have learned a lot about the league last season and it will be hoped that he can put that knowledge to good use and pick up points to teams that Sligo really should have beaten last season.
Title Odds: 50/1
First Game: The Bit O’Red welcome Limerick to the Showgrounds for the first game of the new season. Both sides met at the same stage last season at Marketfields with Limerick running out 4-0 winners.