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North by north-west for Figueira who swaps Derry for Sligo


Sligo Rovers have completed the signing of Walter Figueira from Derry City. 

The gifted forward spent last seasons at the Ryan McBride Brandywell following a brief spell at Waterford.

He's the latest addition to Liam Buckley's Bit-O-Red squad ahead of the 2021 season.

Buckley's managed to do some canny business so far in the off-season, signing experienced midfielder Greg Bolger, 2019 Premier Division top-scorer Romeo Parkes, Jordan Gibson and Shane Blaney.

25-year old Figueira was one of the standout performers in a difficult season at Derry. He found the net four times in 19 league games.

The Chelsea youth product has played football in Greece, Portugal and the lower leagues in England, but is looking forward to putting on a show at the Showgrounds.

"I’m really looking forward to playing some exciting football here. The style of play here is very attractive and I feel like I can contribute a lot to the side.

“The manager reassured me he would take care of me with my family and give me the freedom to do what I do best on the pitch. I was very convinced by him and I trust the players we have in the squad. I’m looking forward to it.

“I found it very frustrating last year. The stop-start season and Covid-19 in Derry led to lots of isolating and that and it affected our fitness. It was difficult to get a good run of games. Hopefully I can find the consistency and showcase my ability in the league now.

“Hopefully we can gel as quickly as possible. For the people watching Sligo Rovers next season, we want to put on a show.”

Buckley has been a long-time admirer of Figueira's, saying, "Walter is a player I have recognised going back to his youth days at Chelsea. We made our interest known quite a few months ago and I’m delighted he has signed today.

“His spells in Waterford and Derry have shown what a good technical player he is. Looking at his ability, I feel Walter can make an even greater impact and we’ve brought him here to do that.

“Being in a better team overall will bring more out of Walter and he will enjoy playing with the group we have here.

“He can play anywhere across the front four, that versatility is fantastic for us. We’ve got Romeo, Ryan De Vries, Jordan Gibson, Johnny Kenny, add in young Cillian Heaney and now Walter and between all of them we’ve got some fantastic options there.

“We’re trying to improve the squad in each window and doing it around the way we have to play here. Walter is a very good addition with that in mind. He’s a player our supporters will really appreciate.

“The final few players to the squad are so important. I can’t rule anything out at this point, we have certain areas we’re targeting. We won’t have a massive squad but we will have quality throughout the group with every player driving each other on. We’re very keen to start pre-season next week.”

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Derry City Greg Bolger League Of Ireland Romeo Parkes SSE Airtricity Premier Division Sligo Rovers Walter Figueira

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