Ian Baraclough's Sligo will face Derry City in their first match as defending champions. ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy
Bit O'Red

Ian Baraclough eyeing up at least two more quality signings for 2013

The Sligo Rovers chief needs to strengthen his squad after losing Airtricity POTY Mark Quigley.

SLIGO ROVERS BOSS Ian Baraclough has confirmed the league champions are in talks with a couple of players with a view to strengthening the squad for 2013.

Players such as Joseph Ndo, Danny North, Gavin Peers and Seamus Conneely have already signed up for next season but Airtricity Player of the Year Mark Quigley signed for Shamrock Rovers last month.

Aaron Greene has moved out west from the Tallaght club but he is the only new face at the Bit o’ Red so far. The playing staff currently sits at 14.

Baraclough told the club website, “We’ve made one new signing, who I’m delighted with and as we approach January a lot of players come into thoughts in terms of adding to the squad.

“We are talking to one or two and there is all sorts of aspects to what and where we are looking to bring players in.”

Baraclough also confirmed he will add to his backroom staff shortly with a new assistant manager, having held talks with potential candidates in the off-season.

League v cup winners

Baraclough, who was overlooked as a manager of the year nominee at Sunday’s RTÉ sports awards, is excited by the prospect of opening up the 2013 season away to FAI Cup holders Derry City.

He said, “A trip to the Brandywell to open the season will be good for the players and it will excite everybody I think.

It means you have to be ready to go and perform from the first night but that would be the case with any opposition. For an opening game it will be a good occasion and one to really relish.

“You have to play every team regardless of how the fixtures fall or what sequence they go in so we look forward to that first day.”

The Rovers squad will meet up for pre-season training in mid January but many of the players are already on light fitness programmes.

Baraclough said, “The players are keeping right and working to programmes that we agreed, tailored to what suits them and the time of year.

“At the same time I don’t want them coming back 100%. That’s why they call it pre-season, players need a break and to be fresh.

“It is a long season and the professional mentality within the group means they will all be keeping on track.”

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