Sligo Rovers have completed the triple signing of Patrick McClean,Calum Waters and Mitchell Beeney.
These signings are expected to be Gerard Lyttle’s final additions to his team as he aims to bounce back from an opening day defeat to Limerick FC.
Rovers lack of cover in defence was exposed last Saturday as Lyttle was forced to name a makeshift back four, but McClean and Waters have been signed to alleviate this issue.
Patrick McClean, younger brother of West Brom and Republic of Ireland star James McClean, joins The Bit O’Red after mutually agreeing the termination of his contract with Waterford this week.
The centre-back started his career with his native Derry City and already boasts plenty of experience having made his debut in 2014 and helped Waterford earn promotion to the Premier Division last season.
On the signing of McClean, Lyttle said: “Patrick is aggressive, strong in a tackle, good in the air. We also lacked height in the team. It’s a big signing for us and we feel our options at centre half are very strong.”
Calum Waters has joined on loan from Kilmarnock on a loan deal which runs until June 10.
The full-back has arrived at The Showgrounds with similar ambitions as those of Alistair Roy (on loan from Hearts), as both players will be hoping their experience in the League of Ireland will act as a platform to earn more regular first team football at their respective parent clubs.
Gerard Lyttle is pleased to have a new option at left-back following who is keen to use this opportunity to make a breakthrough at Kilmarnock.
“It’s another signing that comes with terrific pedigree. Left-back was obviously a problematic position given Regan Donelon had no competition. We wanted to get another player in that area to strengthen the squad.
“The injury last weekend to Regan shows what can happen. While he should be back in the next week or two, we want more than one player per position as we said.
“Calum has come through the leagues after leaving Celtic to get back to the top flight and played some games with Kilmarnock in the Premiership this season. That’s a very good level. He has that hunger – as shown in going to the two clubs and being in the league team of the season at Alloa to get that move.
“He joins us now with his ambition to be a regular with Kilmarnock in the future. He has great energy and will attack from left-back when the opportunity arises which is what we want.”
Chelsea goalkeeper Mitchell Beeney was confirmed as a Sligo Rovers player ahead of tonight’s (Thursday) transfer deadline.
The 22-year-old, a son of Mark Beeney who also played as a ‘keeper with Leeds United in the mid-90s, is understood to be signing on loan until the end of June.
Beeney has prior experience on loan in England’s League Two, having previously represented Crawley Town and Newport County.
Lyttle said: “Mitchell came over for a few days for the Cabinteely friendly to get a feel of the place and see if he liked it. 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 1 and League 2 and he comes here with the chance to play more first-team football.
“I think Schlings (Micháel 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. Michael is a great pro and both he and Mitchell will have a battle now to be number one.”
All three players are understood to be available for selection for tomorrow night’s game with Derry City.