Soccer – Sunday service for Limerick FC


5 June 2015; General view as Alan Keane, Sligo Rovers, takes a throw in. SSE Airtricity League Premier Division, Shamrock Rovers v Sligo Rovers. Tallaght Stadium, Tallaght, Co. Dublin. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILELIMERICK FC ended a run of eight consecutive league defeats with last Friday’s 0-0 draw away to Derry City, a result which also secured the Super Blues’ first Premier Division clean sheet this season.
In the meeting of the bottom two clubs, the Candystripes had the majority of chances but could not force a breakthrough against Freddy Hall, the Bermuda international goalkeeper who was making his debut for Limerick.
Manager Martin Russell, whose son Sean had a late penalty claim turned down, said of the draw at The Brandywell: “Our second half performance was very good. In the first half we gave up too many chances but we managed to rectify the situation after half-time. I thought we were unlucky not to get a penalty but a draw was probably a fair result for both sides.”
It was a case of one goalkeeper in and one out for Limerick last week as Hall’s signing coincided with the departure of teenager Conor O’Donnell, who had joined from UCD in pre-season.
Russell stated that O’Donnell’s leaving of Limerick was “a mutual decision” between club and player, adding: “A senior keeper has come in and got the chance to impress in an area where we were understrength. Freddy adds that bit of competition that we need and he’s a more senior keeper than Conor.
“Conor will certainly be able to improve in the near future but he was no longer assured of regular first team games at Limerick.”
Limerick FC was thrust into the national spotlight recently when chairman Pat O’Sullivan declared that the club was looking at players from Greece, aiming to give footballers from the financially troubled nation an opportunity in Ireland.
Russell described it as “the right thing to explore” and said that it reflected the chairman’s ability to “think outside the box”, but he sounded a cautionary note that “it’s not an instant thing and the practicalities of it needs to be investigated a little more”.
The Super Blues are scheduled to play Shamrock Rovers at Tallaght Stadium this Sunday at 4pm, although the fixture could yet be moved if the Dublin club advances to the next qualifying round of the Europa League.
However, following the Hoops’ 0-2 home defeat to Norwegian side Odds BK last week, only a remarkable turnaround in the return leg this evening will force Sunday’s match to be rescheduled.
At the time of going to press, Limerick also hope to complete the signing of defender Patrick Kanyuka, who played in the recent friendly against MK Dons.