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Sligo Rovers complete deal for Chelsea goalkeeper before transfer window shuts

England U20 international Mitchell Beeney will remain at the Showgrounds until the end of June.

Mitchell Beeney was a member of the Chelsea side that won the FA Youth Cup in 2014.
Mitchell Beeney was a member of the Chelsea side that won the FA Youth Cup in 2014.
Image: Stephen Pond

SLIGO ROVERS HAVE announced another new signing this morning.

The SSE Airtricity League Premier Division outfit confirmed that goalkeeper Mitchell Beeney has joined the club on loan from Chelsea until 30 June.

With the transfer window in the League of Ireland due to close tonight, Beeney is the third new arrival at the Showgrounds in the past 24 hours.

Yesterday, Sligo completed deals for central defender Patrick McClean and left-back Calum Waters. McClean has left Waterford to sign a two-year deal with the Bit O’ Red, while Waters has joined on loan from Kilmarnock until 10 June.

Beeney, whose father Mark played in the Premier League for Leeds United, has been capped by England up to U20 level. The 22-year-old has been on the books at Chelsea since the age of 12 but hasn’t yet made a first-team debut at Stamford Bridge.

However, he has played senior football in the UK during loan spells with Newport County and Crawley Town. Beeney will aim to dislodge Micheal Schlingermann as Sligo’s first-choice goalkeeper.

“Mitchell came over for a few days for the Cabinteely friendly to get a feel of the place and see if he liked it,” said Sligo Rovers manager Gerard Lyttle, whose side will be looking to bounce back from a defeat to Limerick in their opening game of the season when they entertain Derry City tomorrow night.

“I think he really took to Sligo, the players, the people around the club and the chance to show what he can do here. He is probably approaching a crossroads in his career and this move allows him the opportunity to build on his ability and showcase it.

“He has had loans spells in League One and League Two and he comes here with the chance to play more first-team football. I think Schlings [Micheal Schlingermann] needs this competition. He hasn’t had it beforehand with respect to the other goalkeepers and it makes a huge difference.

“Everyone needs it — someone trying to take your place and knowing they will constantly be looking to get in there because of their ability. Micheal is a great pro and both he and Mitchell will have a battle now to be number one.”

Beeney, who is a member of the U23 squad at Chelsea, was part of the side that defeated Fulham to win the FA Youth Cup in 2014. He has also featured on the bench for the Blues’ first-team on several occasions.

Soccer - UEFA Champions League - Group G - Sporting Lisbon v Chelsea - Chelsea Training - Cobham Beeney (left) alongside Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois. Source: PA Archive/PA Images

He said: “It has been really nice getting to know all the players here. They are a great group and I’m really happy to become part of it. I enjoyed the friendly match and it gave me an insight into the club.

“I’m here to play senior competitive games — that’s what these moves are about. I don’t know a huge amount about the league, only what the manager and staff have told me.

“I have competition in Micheal who has had the shirt but it’s all about that if you want to be successful. I’m keen to get in the team and play as many games as I can here.”

Meanwhile, Derry City have announced the signing of defender Niall Logue on a one-year deal. Logue, who has spent the past two years with Ohio State University, will give the Candystripes an option at left-back after they missed out on the signing of ex-Fulham player Sean Kavanagh, who opted to join Shamrock Rovers earlier this week.

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James McClean’s brother Patrick signs for Sligo Rovers

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Paul Dollery

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