Pat Spillane happy to be part of Sligo and its ‘positive style of football’

After winning a Division Four title last year, combined with the success of underage sides, it is an exciting time for Sligo football.

A young team playing attacking football with a lot of confidence, a key part of this side in the last couple of seasons is Pat Spillane, who joined the county in 2022.

The son of one of the greatest players the game has seen, Spillane is enjoying his time in inter-county football, and praises the structures in Sligo that has allowed the team to flourish.

“It has been really enjoyable. Results aside, everything else aside, they are a lovely group. We play a nice brand of football in a great set up, it is really enjoyable.

“I have been fortunate with my time of joining Sligo. I came at a time when a lot of good things are happening. A lot of things are falling into place in terms of the development of the county. A lot of the lads are the same age as me as well.

“I think the coaching and development is where we are reeking the benefits of the last couple of years. There is a lot of guys in their mid and early 20s who are in the senior side now.

“The 20s side has been brilliant in the last couple of years, and we are seeing these players come in who are really upping the standards which is reflecting the results.

“Tony McEntee wants us playing a really positive style of football. For a lot of coaches, they are worried about turnovers and making errors. Not in our set up, they back us to make the right decisions.”

If Pat needs advice from someone outside the Sligo team, luckily he does not have to go too far. Photo: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

After defeating Leitrim last weekend in the Connacht quarter-final, Sligo will face Galway in a repeat of last year’s final.

While this will be a game too soon for Spillane, who is recovering from injury, Sligo will have the chance to show how far they have come since defeat in final last May.

After failing to win a game in the All-Ireland series despite some positive displays, Spillane is hopeful the experience of coming up against the best in the country will stand for Sligo.

“We will take confidence that we know we can play against these teams when we play our best, but know we need to be a lot sharper than we were last year.

“Unfortunately, we didn’t get a win in the All-Ireland series last year. We were disappointed not to get a win against Kildare, we felt that was there for us.

“Being able to match ourselves up against those top Division One teams, and see how they operate up close, I think it stood to us this year.

“You look at the likes of Derry, they were playing in Division Four not too long ago, and they have just had this meteoric rise up the ranks.

“It can be done, we know it is not impossible.”

If Pat needs advice from someone outside the Sligo team, luckily he does not have to go too far.

A man who viewers were used to watching on the Sunday Game, Pat Jr unfortunately, does not get any special treatment when it comes to analysing his performances, but appreciates the help he receives.

“He is a tough critic, he doesn’t go easy on me either to be fair. He’s brilliant. In fairness to him, he is a big help. In some sense, I am lucky to have an analyst at home.

“I ring him most days after every game. If I don’t go to him, he will come to me.”


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