Although the Dunfermline Press reported last week that Rhys McCabe was due to sign a new contract with the Pars, the midfielder has instead joined Irish Premier Division side Sligo Rovers, as confirmed on Sligo's Facebook and Twitter pages. McCabe, whose Pars contract ended on 31 May, signed for Sligo yesterday.
Rhys McCabe spent 2 seasons at East End Park with mixed success. He was unable to secure a regular place in the League 1 winning team of 2015/16, but was given a contract extension last summer for the following 12 months. 2016/17 did not begin well for McCabe, with both he and his partner in central midfield, Andy Geggan, struggling for form. Geggan eventually moved to the right back position and McCabe lost his place in the team. He was, however, to regain some of his best form as the season progressed, initially in early winter when he scored an equalising penalty against Falkirk and turned in a series of good performances before illness meant he again dropped out of the team in the New Year period. The good form of both Nat Wedderburn and John Herron in midfield meant that McCabe had to wait for his next chance, which came after an impressive substitute appearance at Morton, then a return to the starting 11 for the final 6 matches of the season. He scored twice in those final games, displaying a willingness to shoot from distance (something that was lacking in the team) and playing well in midfield, erasing memories of his poor early season form.
McCabe's departure leaves the Pars squad with just 1 central midfielder - Nat Wedderburn - with former Under 20s player Scott Lochhead as the only other current option. I would have been happy for McCabe to extend his stay with Dunfermline. He was comfortable on the ball, had a good passing range, could shoot from distance, and was able to take a long throw in that was a useful weapon. Sligo have signed a player coming into his peak years, and he goes with Pars fans' best wishes.
Photos: Pars Review