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Former Ipswich Town midfielder Cawley set for Rovers return

David Cawley previously enjoyed a successful four-year spell with Sligo after returning from England.

David Cawley under pressure from Garry Buckley while playing for Galway United against Cork City in July.
David Cawley under pressure from Garry Buckley while playing for Galway United against Cork City in July.
Image: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

SLIGO ROVERS HAVE today announced the signing of David Cawley for the 2018 season.

The midfielder, who spent 2017 with Connacht rivals Galway United, returns for a second spell at The Showgrounds, having left for St Patrick’s Athletic at the end of 2015.

During his previous stint with Sligo, Cawley won Premier Division, FAI Cup and Setanta Cup medals. Following the signing of Caolan McAleer from Finn Harps, the 26-year-old Ballina native is Gerard Lyttle’s second new addition for 2018.

“As soon as Sligo got in contact, I knew I wanted to sign,” Cawley told Sligo Rovers’ official webiste. “I’m absolutely delighted to be back. I loved my time at the club previously. We had all the success you could want and being here again reminds me what potential the club has. I’ve spoken with Gerard [Lyttle] and he is ambitious and wants to get the club higher up the table next season, and so do I.

“It didn’t work out for me at St Patrick’s Athletic as I’ve admitted before. I went to Galway and I have to give all the credit to [Galway manager] Shane Keegan. He got me enjoying my football again. I rang him in advance of signing for Rovers today to thank him for that because his man-management really lifted me.

“It meant a lot to me and I feel I’m coming here stronger after some of my performances. Sligo is the perfect fit for me and in full-time football so it’s a great opportunity again. There is already a solid and talented part of a squad put together and like when you join any club, you have to prove yourself.

“There’s going to be players fighting for your position. I had great times here but that will not count for much when trying to get into the team and keeping a place. That’s the challenge in front of me and I’m really keen to take it on.”

After starting his career with Ballina Town, Cawley joined Ipswich Town as a teenager. Having been unable to make the breakthrough during four years at Portman Road, he returned to Ireland to join Sligo in 2012.

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Cawley was one of Galway United’s leading performers this season, winning their player-of-the-month award in October and scoring a goal-of-the-season contender against Limerick. In spite of his contribution, Galway failed to avoid relegation to the First Division.

Sligo boss Gerard Lyttle said: “David was a top performer for Galway. He covered so much ground in games and most importantly he can play. He comes with a wealth of experience and it won’t be a problem settling in. He knows the club well and he’s the right age where he’s coming into his prime.

“I’m looking forward to working with him. He comes here on the back of relegation but with some good individual form and with it comes the chance to prove himself again at the club. I think it’ll prove to be a very shrewd signing.”

Having narrowly avoided relegation themselves this season, Sligo have made a promising start to their process of rebuilding for next year, despite the loss of full-back Tobi Adebayo-Rowling to Cork City.

As well as the additions of David Cawley and Caolan McAleer, contract extensions have been signed by Michael Schlingermann, Regan Donelon, Kyle Callan-McFadden, Seamus Sharkey, Craig Roddan, Rhys McCabe and Greg Moorhouse.

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Paul Dollery

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