If there is one thing Sligo Rovers can’t be accused of, it is not being afraid to hop off the League of Ireland merry-go-round.
The Bit O’Red has a proud history of attracting some international class to The Showgrounds, with Welsh, Scottish and English players gracing the pitch since the 1930s, while their record of exotic signings stretches back as far as Hungarian forward Seigfried Dobrowitsch in 1949.
There is always a sense of excitement when the club acquires the services of a player who has represented their country at the highest level, but few captured the imagination quite like Romuald Boco, the man who fans would come to adore as ‘The King of Benin’.
Boco enjoyed three seperate spells with the club, but the midfielder always recalls the half season he spent here in 2012 as the best experience of his life.
It is no secret that he enjoyed working under the guidance of Paul Cook who had signed him for a third time in 2012. Cook would of course not take the reins for that season but Boco was determined to get on with things as he still envisaged an historic season ahead for The Bit O’Red.
“I signed for a lot of clubs because of Paul Cook, I enjoy working with him and he knows how to produce my best football but I was still happy to be here even when he left because there was a lot of lads in the team who I knew and wanted to achieve success again. We knew with the signings that were made that we could have another very good year.”
Boco however found himself on Cook’s radar at Accrington Stanley. With the club in a healthy position at the summit of the table, he was confident that the league title was heading to The Showgrounds and thus moved on to a new challenge having wanted to return to English football.
“We had eight games to go and we had lost only once while I was there. That year was the best of my life football-wise, we had reached our peak. There was a great buzz about the place, we had thousands of fans every week and nobody ever thought we were going to lose when they came to see us play. We couldn’t go anywhere without fans stopping to speak to us, it is the greatest feeling you can have, the fans were together, the team was together and I don’t think it was something I ever expected to experience in my life.”
For the full interview with Romuald, see this week’s Sligo Weekender newspaper – in shops now!
Alternatively, you can purchase an online edition here