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Football at national level in Limerick has been in limbo since the announcement last December that Limerick FC was facing liquidation after a three-month long examinership process.
Football at national level in Limerick has been in limbo since the announcement last December that Limerick FC was facing liquidation after a three-month long examinership process.
Image: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

'New era' begins as Limerick United outline plans to get back in the League of Ireland in 2021

The club says they will ‘develop one of the best young footballing academies’ in the country.
Jan 14th 2020, 7:00 AM 5,267 7

THERE IS A new dawn for football in the mid-west after Limerick United laid out their plans to bring League of Ireland back to the region.

Under the tutelage of former Limerick City and County Council Chief Executive, Conn Murray, the club plan to bring the club back to the League of Ireland in 2021.

Limerick United will field teams at U-13, U-15, U-17 and U-19 levels this year and will also enter a team in the Women’s National League.

Murray stated that football in Limerick will be given a “bottom up reboot” and will concentrate on the development of a “best in class football Academy”.

“Today is the new beginning of a new era for football in Limerick,” added the interim Chairman of the club. “We are going to focus on what every club or sporting organisation does when it hits a low and that is on our youth.

We are going to develop one of the best young footballing academies in Ireland. This will not happen overnight, but will be a gradual and sustainable development that, by the time we get Limerick United achieving it’s full potential, the structures will be in place to keep it there.”

Former Limerick FC manager Tommy Barrett has been appointed as Academy Manager of the new entity and is excited by the project at hand.

“We have to try and get in the best players that we can and produce players, that’s the main thing,” stated Barrett. “I’m really excited by the prospect, particularly with identifying the coaches we are bringing in.

“We have to maximise our efforts now in getting the best coaches and developing our players properly. In fairness, the players have come through in the past and we will look to continue that and even improve on it.”

As already mentioned, the aim is to have a senior men’s team return to League of Ireland football next year, but Murray says that the club won’t rush into any decision.

“We are very realistic in terms of the challenges faced by football, not just here but across the country. I have seen it in Waterford, Dundalk and Drogheda. All have seen good days but they have seen tough days too, no question about that.

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“What we are trying to do is start as sustainable growth relative to League of Ireland soccer here in Limerick. The ambition is 2021, but if someone tells me that is too ambitious, I will listen.”

Football at national level in Limerick has been in limbo since the announcement last December that Limerick FC was facing liquidation after a three-month long examinership process.

The club has a €490,000 debt and failed to secure a licence for the SSE Airtricity First Division 2020 season.

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John Keogh

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