Writes Ciaran Dineen
Carrigaline’s Rob Slevin has signed with Ballybofey’s Finn Harps ahead of the 2022 League of Ireland Premier Division season. The former UCC, Waterford and Cork City defender has endured a difficult 12 months after spending much of last season injured while signed with Cork City, having previously impressed during the 2020 campaign.
It will be the fourth consecutive year that Rob has been signed with a League of Ireland club, having first made his breakthrough out of amateur level with Waterford FC in 2019. The 23 year-old is a former FAI Third Level Player of the Year, after leading UCC to Collingwood Cup glory in 2019. His performances in the competition caught the eye of the Déise club and he signed during the mid-season break in June 2019.
Rob moved closer to home for the 2020 season, signing with Cork City, featuring alongside fellow Carrigaline men Alec Byrne and Josh Honohan. The defender featured heavily during the difficult and truncated season, which was interrupted due to the emergence of the pandemic. Playing at left-back and centre-half in many games, Rob put in some good performances for the ‘Leesiders’ but he could not prevent them from being relegated to the First Division.
Slevin signed back with the club for the 2021 season, but he never managed to gain any sort of momentum on the pitch after a torrid injury spell that kept him out for much of the calendar year.
However, Finn Harps and manager Ollie Horgan have clearly seen and heard enough of the young defender to merit capturing his signature for the campaign ahead. Rob will move back up to the Premier Division where Harps finished 8th last season.
Speaking to his new club’s media team the Carrigaline man said “I had a tough season last year with a bad injury that required surgery and when I spoke to Ollie I got that sense of belief and confidence right away, I nearly took his hand off for the chance to come to play under him and get back in the Premier Division.”
“Last year was tough for me, even more mentally than physically going through rehab by myself along with everything else going on in the world at the minute. I definitely learned that you can’t take the long-term for granted. I am absolutely buzzing to get in now for preseason and determined to give it everything.”
Best wishes to Rob both on and off the pitch this year as he moves from one end of the country to the other!