Sligo legend set for Harps move
Article by Kieran Burke - @KieranBTS
Earlier today, Sligo Rovers legend Rafael Cretaro released a statement in conjunction with the “Bit O’Red” to announce the strikers departure from the club after seventeen long yet mostly glorious seasons. Making a record 531 appearances for Sligo Rovers and scoring 86 goals, the man known as the “Tubercurry tornado” will go down in history as one of Sligo’s finest, having lifted the league title in 2012 as well as multiple cup successes. Even in recent campaigns, which have been far from successful for the Showgrounds based club, thirty-seven-year-old Cretaro has played a vital role in securing Sligo’s top-flight status.
However, the arrival of Liam Buckley in the West of Ireland seems to have signaled the end for Cretaro, who made his Rovers debut all the way back in 2000. In a lengthy statement released on Sligorovers.com, Cretaro outlined just how big of an honor it had been to represent his hometown club for so many years.
“My dream was to play for Sligo Rovers. I didn’t know if it was going to last for one game, one start or one year. I just wanted to fulfil my dream. I wanted to dedicate myself to that for how ever long it lasted, I’m proud to say I did.
Despite such a lengthy association with Sligo Rovers, Cretaro has in fact donned the colors of both Galway United and Bohemians during almost two-decades long League of Ireland career. And it now seems Cretaro will wear the colors of another new club in 2019 with BetweenTheStripes.ie understanding that Finn Harps FC is in fact set to become Cretaro’s new home.
In today’s goodbye message to Sligo Rovers supporters, Cretaro did signal his intention to sign for a semi-professional outfit next season and BetweenTheStripes.ie has been informed a deal has already been signed between the striker and the Donegal outfit, although this is yet to be confirmed.
Promoted back to the Premier Division at the first attempt last season, Finn Harps boss Ollie Horgan has been busy bolstering his squad in recent weeks with Longford pair Daniel O’Reilly and Sam Verdon signing for the Harps as has Drogheda defender, Colm Deasy. However, with the Finn Park outfit losing the services of nine-season servant Ciaran Coll to local rivals Derry City, the arrival of such an experienced campaigner as Raff Cretaro is sure to boost a relatively young Finn Harps dressing room for next season.
Finn Harps are expected to formally announce the signing of Rafael Cretaro later this evening.
UPDATE: Finn Harps have now officially announced the signing of Raff Cretaro for 2019, while goalkeeper, Ciaran Gallagher has signed a new contract with the play-off winners of last season.