Athlone Town men’s first team confirm pre-season friendly fixtures

League Of Ireland Premier Division opposition will journey to Lissywollen to play Athlone Town in two recently confirmed pre-season fixtures as preparations for the start of the 2024 league campaign continues apace.

Recently crowned FAI Cup champions, St Patrick’s Athletic are the inaugural new year visitors to the Athlone Town Stadium, in a fixture to take place on Saturday, January 13, at 3pm, while Shelbourne FC, under the managerial guidance of former Republic of Ireland international Damien Duff, will play the hosts on Saturday, January 27, at 6pm.

Leinster Senior Cup ties against Maynooth University Town and Longford Town will take place either side of the club’s second pre-season friendly against Shelbourne FC.

The busy start to the year sees Athlone Town play five fixtures at home and one game away in the opening month of the season.

New Signing

Meanwhile, over the festive period, the club confirmed the signing of Portuguese international player, Ruban Candal.

The 20-year-old primarily operates as a left winger and attacking midfielder, brings with him an impressive resume, having developed his skills at the esteemed FC Porto and represented the Portuguese national team at various youth levels.

Ruban Candal’s journey to Athlone Town AFC has been nothing short of remarkable. Hailing from the renowned Portuguese football powerhouse, FC Porto, Candal honed his skills within their youth ranks, making significant contributions at U15, U17, and U19 levels. His participation in the UEFA Youth Champions League served as a testament to his exceptional abilities and potential.

Notably, Candal has also proudly donned the Portuguese national team jersey, showcasing his talent on the international stage at U15, U17, and U19 levels. His inclusion in the national set-up further underscores his status as a rising star in the football world.

Athlone Town AFC, in collaboration with the Valeo International Academy, an elite global football training organization, demonstrated its commitment to nurturing young and ambitious talent. The club’s recent success, making it to the playoffs this past season for the first time in years, has laid the foundation for a promising future.

“We are absolutely delighted to welcome Ruban to the Athlone Town family. His pedigree, having come through the ranks of FC Porto and represented his country at multiple youth levels, speaks volumes about his abilities. We believe he will be a crucial addition to our squad and contribute significantly to our continued growth and success,” Athlone Town AFC’s Director of Football, Dario Castelo, speaking about the signing of Ruban Candal, said.

“I am thrilled to embark on this new chapter in my career with Athlone Town AFC. I’ve heard great things about the club’s ambition and commitment to developing young talents. I can’t wait to contribute to the team’s success and make the fans proud,” Ruban Candal, expressing his excitement, added.

The signing of Ruban Candal marks an exciting milestone for Athlone Town AFC as they look forward to building on their recent achievements and cultivating a bright future for Irish football.


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