Sligo Rovers Republic of Ireland Under 19 international Niall Morahan has become the the first recipient of the new IT Sligo Scholarship programme with the club.
Morahan has penned a new deal with Sligo Rovers until the end of 2021 season and he will begin his studies for a business degree at IT Sligo studies next month.
By JOHN HUDSON
This new arrangement between the League of Ireland club and the local Institute of Technology will see two scholarships co-funded annually by IT Sligo and Rovers awarded annually.
Morahan who recently played in the Republic of Ireland Under-19 squad that reached the UEFA European Championships semi final in Armenia is delighted with his new deal.
“I think it’s good to take on education as well as football. I’m 19 but I want to open up different avenues for myself.
“My long-term future is now at The Showgrounds and that’s very reassuring too. I wanted to commit myself to the club and what is happening there.
“To do that and also start third-level education is ideal while also working under Liam Buckley and John Russell has been fantastic and I’d also like to thank all my coaches and Carrick Town before that who have helped me be in this position”.
Iain MacPherson, Planning and Operations Excellence Manager at IT Sligo expressed his satisfaction that the partnership with Sligo Rovers has been finalised saying
“IT Sligo, in partnership with Sligo Rovers FC, are delighted to offer Niall Morahan the first of their joint Scholarships.
“This partnership, which was launched earlier this year, demonstrates the commitment of both IT Sligo and Sligo Rovers FC in supporting those involved in sports at the highest level whilst undertaking a programme of study. And we look forward to seeing Niall flourish in education and sport.”
Sligo boss Liam Buckley said
“Niall has come into the side throughout this season at right-back and midfield and acquitted himself very well after some good years in the academy teams.
“Education is very important for young players and this is the beginning of what will be a regular feature at the club.
“The club has a lot of talented young players and we feel we can offer them not just a great opportunity in football but in education as well.
“When I was with St Patrick’s Athletic we had a link-up that saw a number of lads complete third level degrees and it stands to them so I have an understanding of how you manage it”.
While IT Sligo head coach Colm Jinks who also works as an FAI Football Facilitor at the college is hoping to have Morahan available for games when the Colleges and Universities League kicks off in October.
“I’ll work with Liam (Buckley) on that one and I’m sure everything we decide will be in the best interests of the player.
“After seeing several former Sligo Rovers underage players like Paul Doyle, Jack Keaney and Liam Kerrigan opt to take up scholarship offers at UCD it’s pleasing that this new partnership allows us to have Niall staying in Sligo for both his education and football” added Jinks.