Steve Feeney to manage Sligo Rovers women’s team

Former Sligo Rovers player Steve Feeney has been appointed as the club’s first ever women’s senior team manager.

His appointment follows confirmation from the FAI last week that Rovers had been granted a place in the SSE Airtricity Women’s National League for the 2022.

The senior women’s team will play their home matches in the 10-team league on the main pitch at the Showgrounds.

Feeney rejoins Rovers from Ballinamallard United in the Irish League where he has spent the past 10 seasons.

Feeney has been player-coach with the Mallards for several seasons.

A player himself with Rovers during two spells between 2000 and 2010, Feeney has previous coaching experience with Summerhill College – and during his playing career at the Showgrounds, assisted with some of the club’s underage sides.

He also played for Athlone Town in 2006 and Monaghan United in 2007.

This new Rovers role will be his first senior team manager’s job.

The UEFA ‘A’ coaching licence holder told on Thursday: “The fact that it’s Sligo Rovers – and the first ever ladies team at the Showgrounds is very exciting. I’m looking forward to the challenge.

The main priority in the coming weeks will be to assemble a squad.

Feeney says its composition will be a mixture of players graduating from the club’s academy teams – and bringing in new talent.

“We need to get a team in place and players signed before we even think about pre-season. Obviously, we have the under-19 and under-17 girls who’ve been with the club for a while. We’ll be chatting to their coaches to see who is ready to make the step up.

“It’s a blank canvas but we need to get players on”.

The new manager is also currently assembling has backroom team.

One player who won’t be part of Feeney’s new senior squad next season is Republic of Ireland under-19 international Muireann Devaney.

Athlone Town confirmed on Wednesday that the Manorhamilton girl has agreed a contract extension with the midlands club for next season.

Devaney play under-17 and under-19 with Sligo Rovers but moved on from the Showgrounds last year because there was no senior football available at the time.