‘I will always have a great affinity with the club’

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RELIABLE: Rogers played in all but one game of the title-winning season of 2012. Photo by Michael McGurrin
By Alan Finn
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When it comes to goalkeepers, there seems to be no middle ground. As far as supporters are concerned, you are either a safe pair of hands or a complete liability.
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Sligo Rovers have been blessed with some great keepers in the last 15 years alone with the likes of John O’Hara, Richard Brush and Brendan Clarke, but arguably the safest pair of hands in the club’s history belonged to Gary Rogers.
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 While some of the aforementioned goalkeepers excelled in terms of distribution and showstopping saves, they weren’t without weaknesses, but Rogers was the true all-rounder.
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The Navan native was signed ahead of the 2012 season, a memorable year for all associated with the club and a milestone occasion for many of the players.
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“I was going to a club that was very unlucky not to have won the league in 2011 and when I was aware of the players who were signing, fellas like Danny North, Mark Quigley and Ross Gaynor, with Rommy Boco coming back, they were a club that was really just doing everything they could to push on and that was what really attracted me here.”
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While Rogers earned many plaudits for his performances, he heaped praised on the defence that protected him throughout the Premier Division-winning season.
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“Gavin Peers and Jason McGuinness were brilliant. They were at the top of their game that time and we had Alan Keane, Ross Gaynor and Iarfhlaith Davoren as full-backs so you always had a great back four in front of you.”
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“The squad was exceptional, we had players on the bench who could walk into most teams in the league. It was very special to be a part of a team like that.”
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The Navan native has vivid memories of the day Rovers beat St Pat’s to win the league, but from a goalkeeper’s perspective, it is easier to remember how it could all have gone wrong on a day when several Rovers players created some personal history.
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“I remember going into half-time 2-0 up and we felt we had a great chance to go and do this. But before we knew it, it was back to 2-2 and Bisto [Anto] Flood hit the bar, it could have gone either way.”
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“St Pat’s, of course, were our closest rivals at the time too so to win it so late with Quigs [Mark Quigley] scoring that penalty was great, we got the job done at home on front of all those fans, it was a really fantastic occasion.”
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“That was a first title for so many of those players too, myself included, so it was a major milestone for so many people.”
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For the full interview with Gary, see this week’s Sligo Weekender newspaper – in shops now!
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Alternatively, you can purchase an online edition here

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