MANAGER Stuart Taylor declared himself “really happy” with Limerick FC’s performances in the club’s first Premier Division season since 1994 following the conclusion of the campaign last week.
The Super Blues finished in seventh place, comfortably clear of the relegation zone, and won many plaudits throughout the year for their enterprising brand of football.
Despite ending the term with a 6-0 defeat away to Derry City, Taylor reflected with enormous satisfaction on his first season in charge of the club and he commended his players for their “brave” attitude over the course of the year.
“Overall I’m really happy with it. I think the boys have shown their worth in playing in the Premier Division. People had asked a lot of questions about them and I think they proved that they’re worthy of playing in the Premier Division and doing it with pride as well. They handled almost every occasion very well and they showed that they can go and pass the ball.
“The last game of the season was disappointing with the result and the way it worked out, but looking at the grand scheme of things and looking at the bigger picture, if we were told we would finish seventh at the start of the season we’d have bitten your hand off. I would say that a good amount of our targets were reached and the ones that weren’t reached will spur us on and give us more motivation for next year.
“I am very proud of the players. I think they have been excellent with the way they went about their work. I think they have been very brave to go to places away from home and be brave enough to get on the ball and to pass it the way we’re looking to pass it. That’s a compliment to the players and how they have gone about their work has been fantastic.”
Taylor has quickly turned his thoughts to 2014, with one new signing already in the bag after Shane Duggan joined from Cork City, and the Glasgow native is determined to set the bar even higher for next season.
“[Next year] is huge and the season after that is massive. You’re always building. It’s a progressive club and it’s one where we’ll have to improve on what we’ve done this season and what we’ve started. Coming into the league we’ve achieved a lot more than what we expected, but there’s no point in just sitting back on that.
“Now we’ve got to push on again and if we can keep improving as much as what we have done this season. it will all be good and healthy at the club. Certainly we’re at the stage now of building again. We want to improve on what we’ve started.”
Duggan’s arrival coincides with the departures of seven players from Limerick FC in recent days. Brian O’Callaghan, Axel Bossekota, Carel Tiofack, Joe Gamble, Stephen Bradley, Jeffrey Judge and Stephen Walsh have all left the club.
Taylor outlined O’Callaghan’s commitment to the cause as he played through injuries in several games this term, although he rued the departure of Bossekota due to the club being unable to meet the Belgian forward’s wage demands.
“Brian O’Callaghan has been fantastic for us this season and something that people don’t know is that he has played through injuries this season for the cause of the club.
“Axel was a huge signing for us. He was one of our marquee signings and he’s one I had worked with before but, plain and simple, I couldn’t meet his demands and the club couldn’t meet his demands. It was a sad day when I had to shake his hand and say I couldn’t do any more because we had been through a lot together before we even came here.
I always said when I got a club that I’d take them with me and I did that, but that’s football. There are so many different aspects of signing a player that have got to be taken into consideration and I had a chat with Axel.
“It started back around May/June time. We had a chat about one or two personal things and just of late when I started speaking to players about contracts and negotiations I just couldn’t get close to it, simple as that. Unfortunately the club couldn’t get close to what he was looking for.”