Defender Banks extends his stay in Sligo

Sligo Rovers have confirmed that defender Lewis Banks, who joined the club in February of this year, has extended his contract until the end of the 2020 season.

Banks 22, has featured in 19 games for the bitored this season as he’s nailed down a regular starting spot in Liam Buckley’s ever improving side.

The defender from Stoke-on-Trent left his hometown team after playing for both the clubs U21 and U23 sides, where he was captain, to head to the North-West of Ireland for the start of the 2019 season. Understandably he was thrilled to re-sign with the club, “I’m over the moon. I’m delighted to get things sorted for next year. Hopefully now we can push on for this season and moving on to next season.”

On his progression since joining Sligo Banks said, “It has gone beyond my expectations. In a way I didn’t know what to expect but it has been brilliant. It’s a great club to be around. We’ve done well. We want to do better. After the break we’ll look to get some more wins.”

Predominantly a right-back, Banks has played both right and left-back this season, but he’s happy to play anywhere so long as he plays.

“I don’t mind playing as long as I’m playing. Whether I’m in either position I put the work in and it’s gone well so far.”

“We want to win games and see where we can go, whether it’s a Cup run or in the league because the European positions are still up for grabs. Next year is about kicking on again and improving on 2019.”

“Speaking to the gaffer and the lads here, we want to be successful and not linger around. That’s why I wanted to stay, so I’m delighted to get it done and hopefully we can have that success.”

Liam Buckley said, “I’m delighted because I think he has done fantastically well. It’s difficult when you arrive from the English league and trying to land running. He has done particularly well. He is a fit boy and he can play. We’ve chucked him in at left-back when he’s normally a right-back and he can play centre-back. He’s a terrific lad to work with so I’m chuffed he’s staying with us.”

“It’s a man’s league here, totally different to the Under-23 league in England, and he has toughened up. It’s much harder and strenuous playing in this league than that one. I’m delighted he has extended the contract, I can see him going places.”

Buckley also admitted that he’s targeting a fourth-placed finish and European Football for Sligo next season, “There’s a short, medium and long-term plan from my end of it. The short-term plan is pick up as many points as we can, the medium is squeeze as many results we can from now to the end of the season. Somebody will make that top four because there is very little between a lot of the teams. The long-term plan is further down the line between this window and the off-season is to juggle a few pieces around here and there and build something here.”

Photo Credit: Sligo Rovers FC

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