2023 Season Preview: Sligo Rovers

Manager: John Russell

Stadium: The Showgrounds

Players in: Johan Brannefalk (Norrby IF), Danny Lafferty (Derry City), Lukas Browning (Dalkurd), James Finnerty (Bohemians), Nando Pijnaker (Rio Ave), Gary Boylan (Galway United), Bagdun Vastsuck (Stal Mielic), John Mahon (St Johnstone), Reece Hutchinson (Cheltenham Town - loan), Stefan Radosavljevic.

Players out: Paddy Kirk (Bohemians), Adam McDonnell (Bohemians). Shane Blaney (Motherwell), Seamas Keogh (Finn Harps), Robbie Burton, Cameron Evans (Taunton Town), Lewis Banks (Arbroath), Colm Horgan (Galway United), Scott Lynch, Peter Maguire (Ballinamallard United - loan), Aidan Keena (Cheltenham Town), Michael Lavin (Ipswich Town).

Extratime.ie Key Man: John Mahon

Returning to the club after a stint in Scotland with St Johnstone, John Mahon returns home to play for his hometown club.

Mahon, 23, was a key man for the Bit O’ Red before and is likely to play a similar role for the club upon his return.

With Garry Buckley alongside him, the towering star could thrive at the Showgrounds – but his work is likely to be cut out during the season.

Extratime.ie One to Watch: Fabrice Hartmann

Yet to play for Sligo Rovers due to issues surrounding his international clearance, Fabrice Hartmann will be looking to make up on lost time at the Showgrounds.

The German, 21, is a winger by trade and will be hoping that he can prove his worth while on loan from German Bundesliga side RB Leipzig.

And should he do just that, he is likely to catch the attention of many around the League of Ireland this term.

What to expect this season:

Heading into the 2023 Premier Division campaign, Sligo Rovers are going under the radar ever so slightly.

The Bit O’ Red impressed in European action last season but failed to replicate that level of performance during their league season.

Crucially, they have also lost star striker Aidan Keena to English League One side Cheltenham Town. He was their top scorer last year.

But they have added players such as John Mahon and Faroese international Stefan Radosavljevic to their squad.

However, those players will need to gel quickly if Rovers are to avoid a similarly frustrating 2023 as they endured in 2022 at the Showgrounds.

A European placing will be their aim for the season, but it might be slightly beyond their reach.

First Game: Home to Shamrock Rovers, February 18th, the Showgrounds (kick-off is at 7.45pm).