Raffaele Cretaro has parted ways with Sligo Rovers after 17 seasons in The Showgrounds and signed a deal with Finn Harps.

Cretaro won two FAI Cup and a Premier Division title among his honours as he became the all-time record league appearance maker for the Bit O' Red, appearing 531 times in total. 

Finn Harps manager Ollie Horgan says Cretaro is a seasoned performer whose experience will be beneficial to the Harps squad in the top flight.

"We’re happy to get Raff in as he is a forward with vast experience of the Premier Division," he said. "Competition for places in every part of the field is vital and Raff will give us that up front."

Cretaro said: "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 fulfill my dream. I wanted to dedicate myself to that for how ever long it lasted, I’m proud to say I did.

"I have amazing memories that will stay with me for my entire life.

"I don’t want to talk too much about my own personal legacy, I think that’s for others to do.

"What I would like to say what if I inspired one person, even just one, then I did a good job in my time wearing the Rovers jersey.

"If it’s one young boy or girl dreaming now, if it was one dreaming over the 17 seasons I played here, then that’s good enough for me because it can turn into something magical. I speak from experience.

"The reason I played here for so long was the supporters. I just want to say thank you. 

"As each year passed, that connection and support grew stronger. There are countless more stories for Sligo Rovers players to go out and write on that pitch and I’ll be watching on for those.

"I count myself very fortunate that mine was so long, so rewarding, with memories and moments that we all lived together."

The Tubbercurry man will begin a 20th season in the League of Ireland when he signs for a new club. 

Manager Liam Buckley said: "In decades to come the name Raffaele Cretaro will brings smiles to the faces of the people of Sligo and you can’t achieve much more than that in football when you combine it with the honours he has won and the spirit in which he has played here.  

"We wish him a wonderful future and I know he will forever be behind this club."