After weeks of speculation, winger Kieran Sadlier has joined league leaders Cork City from Sligo Rovers for an undisclosed fee.
The move has been agreed by the Bit o’ Red, with what the club view as favourable terms, to develop the squad for the rest of the season and for their long-term future.
Sadlier 22, joined Sligo at the beginning of the 2016 season and leaves the club having scored 15 goals in 42 league appearances. His last appearance came in yesterday’s 1-0 win over Shamrock Rovers at the Showgrounds.
Kieran Sadlier told sligorovers.com “It’s an exciting move for me with Cork’s prospects in the league and European football, but I am sad to leave Sligo Rovers.”
“Sligo gave me a chance when I really needed to play football after coming here from England. Since I have walked in the door everyone has been so welcoming and treated me so well. I’ve made good friends here, the people at the club look after you and I’ve really enjoyed being here.”
“I made my debut against Shamrock Rovers year and a half ago. I got sent off and it’s ironic that my last game was against them on Sunday. I felt I’ve come full circle and it was special to leave on such a note. The atmosphere was the best since I’ve been here and it was a proud day for everyone and for me to say goodbye in that manner.”
“I’ll miss all of the players because we are all very close. We eat together, live together and even the new players like Rhys, Seamus and Benny have become part of that. It’s what we have as a group and bonds us together.”
“I’m at a point in my career when I want to win trophies and be successful. When I sat down and thought about the interest in me from other clubs, I felt I had to come to this decision. The committee and the manager could have made it difficult but they haven’t stood in my way and the manager called me again to wish me well and I’m really grateful for their support.”
“I’ll look forward to coming back to Sligo when I play games here next season. It’s a place I’ll always have good recollections of and I wish everyone here the very best going forward because from the players to the manager, supporters and everyone; they deserve it because they give you their all.”
Sligo Rovers chairman Martin Heraghty said: “This has been a tough decision to come to but one we feel is right for the club. Kieran has been at outstanding player for Sligo Rovers and has a fantastic future in the game.”
“His contribution has been very important to us in the last 18 months and we are proud of how he has reignited his career in The Showgrounds. His professionalism and hard work have resulted in some outstanding displays in the Rovers jersey.”
“With just four months left on Kieran’s contract and undoubtedly huge interest to come in him as a free agent, we feel this deal gives Gerard a chance to shape the squad how he wants and bring in some new talent to The Showgrounds.”
“It’s not a decision we have taken lightly but it’s one we felt necessary when an acceptable offer came in from Cork City. We wish Kieran great success in his future and know he leaves here with many good memories of his time with Sligo Rovers.”
Manager Gerard Lyttle said: “Kieran is like a lot of young footballers in the country. They leave England and many presume they will go lower after coming to Ireland. It can be easy to feel sorry for themselves. The best players turn it around and he worked hard and found some of the best of himself. There’s more to come and it’s disappointing to lose our prize asset, our top goalscorer, and personally to not be able to work with him for more than just a couple of months.
“He’s a top player, a great person and he has ambition. I can’t fault that and while it’s tough to see him go, I’m pleased for him too because he will take the next step to England after this move I feel.
“The transfer allows us to bolster the squad. We really need numbers because we have a small squad. I’ve said it from the start and I can’t bring in players for the sake of it that are not better than what I have. The only stamp I have been able to put on the squad so far is how we play. But I have to bring in players I feel will move us up levels.
“We’ve brought in Rhys and Benny in this window and there are more to come. It’s just about finding the right ones and everyone is looking for the same thing. We’re confident we’ll have news very soon on adding more and I spend every day trying to do so.
“We want more days like Sunday and while losing Kieran is a blow, it’s got to drive us on to get more talented players in and it’s my job to do so.”
Photo Credit: Sligo Rovers FC