McDonald leaves role as Limerick FC manager

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Former Limerick FC manager Neil McDonald. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

LIMERICK FC are on the lookout for a new manager after the news broke that Neil McDonald has left the club to take up a role with English League One club Scunthorpe United.

With the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division kicking off in February, this is a huge blow to the Super Blues. McDonald’s assistant during his time at Limerick, Eric Kinder, will take temporary charge of the club.

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McDonald was appointed as Limerick manager to much fanfare last May and kept the club in the top flight of League of Ireland football. He also led Limerick to an FAI Cup semi-final.

“The club and myself are naturally disappointed to be losing Neil at this time. However, when an opportunity like this is presented to your manager, where there is potential for him to be in the English Championship next season, Limerick FC is more than happy to fully back Neil and support him in taking up this position,” said club chairman Pat O’Sullivan.

“It is also a compliment to Limerick FC that even though Neil has only been with us a short time, that his work has been rewarded with this very positive opportunity in his career. We thank Neil for his contribution to Limerick football in his time here.

“We also thank Neil for his help in the development of our young players, which brought about a rare opportunity for a League of Ireland club to have one of its players trialled at one of the top English Premier League clubs – that is a compliment to Neil’s managerial ability.

“In mentioning that, I must note the terrific work being done with our young players by our coaches throughout the club, in the first team and Academy structure.

“I wish to place on record Limerick FC’s thanks to Scunthorpe United FC for their professionalism in their dealings with us and we wish both Scunthorpe and Neil the very best of luck.”

McDonald also commented on the departure, saying: “I had a fantastic time at Limerick even though it was a short period.

“I came to do a specific job; to help the club maintain its Premier status, to thin the squad out as it was top-heavy and to give the young players a chance – I’d like to think that I achieved all three.

“I want to thank Pat O’Sullivan, the Board and all the staff for helping me to settle in so well. It can be hard to settle when you move to a new country but thanks to everybody at the club I was able to do that quickly.

“Limerick will always be my club in Ireland; I will watch them every chance I get and hope that they do very well, which I’m sure they will. I had a great time and I wish the club the best of luck.”

The Super Blues begin their 2018 with a trip to Sligo Rovers on February 17 and have confirmed that they will play four pre-season friendlies, which will be announced in due course.