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Dublin: 8°C Sunday 7 March 2021

Former Cardiff City midfielder Willie John Boland named Limerick interim boss

The club’s academy director will take over from Martin Russell in the short-term.

Boland spent seven years with the Bluebirds.
Boland spent seven years with the Bluebirds.
Image: EMPICS Sport

LIMERICK FOOTBALL CLUB have announced that Willie John Boland will take over as first-team manager on an interim basis.

The SSE Airtricity League Premier Division club, currently eighth in the table, parted company with Martin Russell on Monday — just six matches into the 2017 campaign.

In a statement released this afternoon, Limerick revealed that Boland, who has been the club’s academy director since November 2015, is set for the job in the short-term.

“After a meeting with the club and the staff, it was decided I would take over on an interim period with Joe (Gamble –strength & conditioning coach) and Eddie (Hickey – goalkeeping coach) in their current roles as well going forward into the coming game against St Patrick’s Athletic,” Boland told the club.

“As a player, even though the manager has left the club, they have their own professional pride. They’re professional players, they understand how football works. It can be quite volatile especially in relation to the managers position. So, they’ll be focused on the game no doubt about that.

“We trained yesterday and the boys trained very well, they had a focus about them. I think with the day off to let things settle down it will be a good opportunity to come in tomorrow and get focused on the game against St Pat’s.”

Willie Boland Republic of Ireland Under 21 1/4/1997 The Clare native is an ex-Ireland U21 international. Source: © INPHO/James Meehan

The 41-year-old carved out a playing career at Coventry City, Cardiff City and Hartlepool United before returning to Ireland for a brief spell at Limerick in 2010.

Boland also developed his coaching philosophy at Middlesbrough’s academy and with Hartlepool College.

People would say I’m a little bit different from a coaching point of view,” he added. “I’m not as abrasive. I will put my points across but I feel that the players at this moment in time that there’s a good bunch of lads there; there’s some good players at the club.

“There’s not an awful lot to be done except give them the belief they, which they have already, to go up to St Pat’s and get a result. I think the players fully believe that they can go up there and get a result. So, we’ll do our best to get them prepared for that and get them set up for that game, going up there with a positive attitude to go and get a positive result.”

Martin Russell dejected Martin Russell departed the club on Monday. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Next up for the Super Blues is a meeting with St Patrick’s Athletic at Richmond Park this Friday, before home games against Drogheda United and Galway United.

“My sole focus at this moment in time is looking at the St Pats game and getting the boys prepared for that game,” Boland said.

“There could be somebody in place by then, I know the club are on the look-out for a new manager so I’ve just got to concentrate on game-to-game situations.

“We’ll concentrate on St Pats, we’ll get through that game with a positive result hopefully, we then concentrate on the Drogheda game. Once it gets closer to those games we’ll look at them a bit more closely then.”

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Ben Blake

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