While he started his soccer career as a fullback and then a forward, it was as a goalkeeper that Al Slaney established himself as a perennial all-star at the local and national levels. His ball stopping performances earned him earnest respect from teammates and opponents alike from the early 1970s to his retirement in 1984.
Playing “out” he contributed greatly to one peewee and two bantam provincial championships with his native St. Lawrence but it was as a keeper that he played a major role in the 1974 Canadian championship that a Newfoundland and Labrador under-18 club achieved. His play was essential in the claiming of this national title.
Always a great “team” player, Al Slaney had no problem playing behind Bob Slaney, another great Hall of Fame keeper with the Laurentians. In fact, his dedication to soccer was clearly demonstrated by his impressive reaction to his situation. While he was outstanding in the games that he did play, it was after the retirement of Bob Slaney in 1974 that Al Slaney really came into his own.
The 1977 Canada Summer Games allowed Al Slaney to demonstrate just how talented a keeper he was. His play was superb and drew a great deal of favorable comment from all sources. He was certainly one of the better players with all teams in the ’77 Games, especially after improving his skills during a tour of England and Scotland with the club.
During his 11 seasons as the first line keeper with St. Lawrence, Al Slaney’s talent and ability allowed his performances to be very important in many, many games thus being extremely valuable in provincial and national Challenge Cup competition. His keeping was an important factor in the great success that St. Lawrence teams experienced between 1974 and 1984.
Selected as the top goalkeeper for the vast majority of the seasons in which he played, Al Slaney earned several Most Valuable Player awards.
Al is a member of The Newfoundland Soccer Hall of Fame, the Burin Peninsula Soccer Hall of Fame and the St. Lawrence Soccer Hall of Fame.