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Promising Sligo teen has 'loads' of clauses in new contract

Johnny Kenny has been attracting interest after a series of eye-catching displays.

Sligo Rovers' Johnny Kenny applauds the fans after the game.
Sligo Rovers' Johnny Kenny applauds the fans after the game.
Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

SLIGO BOSS Liam Buckley admits Johnny Kenny has “loads” of clauses in his new contract.

The 18-year-old forward scored his 10th league goal of the season in the 3-0 win over St Pat’s at Richmond Park on Friday, and regularly caused the hosts problems with his impressive pace and movement.

Kenny was linked with a move to Celtic before it was confirmed earlier this week that he had signed a new three-year contract with Sligo.

However, the new deal will not necessarily keep him at the club for the duration of that period, particularly if he can maintain his current form.

“He was sick this evening, we left him on as long as he could,” Buckley said after Friday’s game. “He’ll have a career in our league, can he go further? Yeah, I think he can. Having gone further, I think he has the ability from what I see in training. If he can do it in training, he can do it in games. I see a bright future for him. 

“He’s got a great chance. He’s a great centre forward, he’ll bag his fair share of goals. Having seen him in training, working on a few bits and pieces, he’ll improve. He’ll have a great career. 

“When we discussed [the contract], it was ‘keep him as long as we can’. If we have him for three years, it’s fantastic. He’ll be a better player in a better team so I’m trying to get Sligo, the actual team, better. If we can get better, he’ll be better.

“Normally we get crap transfer fees here [from foreign clubs] because they seem to think they can and then they go over there and do well. But that’s another day’s work. If he gets that opportunity, I’ve no doubt he’ll be a success.”

Meanwhile, asked if there were any clauses in Kenny’s contract, Buckley replied: “Loads. There is yeah. As there would be.”

The victory over Pat’s, coupled with Derry’s failure to beat Finn harps, confirmed Sligo’s place in Europe next season.

Buckley admitted to feeling a mixture of joy and relief at this outcome, as they recovered from an especially bad run of results midway through the season, where they went over a month without winning a game.

“We went through a patch and Jaysus, no one could see us winning a match. The fear of losing can come in. We just weren’t playing as well as we could have been.


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“We played well the first half [against Pat's], the second half we were just trying to protect the 2-0 lead.

“The important thing from the club’s point of view, we are a community funded club, they pay all the players’ salaries, the whole shebang here. It is important from their point of view that we get Europe.

“If we can get through a round or two [it would be a major boost]. Unfortunately, we didn’t get through one this year, hopefully, we can do better next year.  

“Most of the top clubs have entrepreneurs, they can change the picture with a pen, you know that kind of way. We have to work with what we have.

“It’s all about the recruitment as well. We’ve fought for it this year, I’m delighted we got Europe because we have gone through a tough patch, don’t get me wrong.

“But we were down so many bodies through that, I think [Garry] Buckley and [John] Mahon only played two games in 12 together. [Greg] Bolger missed six through suspension, we were all over the place, Robbie McCourt busted his arm and missed 12 weeks. For a club like Sligo, we had difficulty with that. I’m delighted for all the fans that they can look forward to Europe.”

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Paul Fennessy

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