Limerick FC set for Thomond Park move

Eugene Phelan

Reporter:

Eugene Phelan

LIMERICK FC are set to play their Airtricity Premier Division matches in Thomond Park next season.

LIMERICK FC are set to play their Airtricity Premier Division matches in Thomond Park next season.

The Limerick Leader has confirmed that a deal is to be signed which will see the recently promoted team play matches next season at the home of Munster Rugby.

“The deal is 99% there and should be sorted very shortly. It will be for one season only, as the soccer club will move to the Markets Field for the following season,” a source involved in the deal said.

Having returned to the premier league in Ireland, Limerick are very much focused on ensuring they stay there.

“Club chairman Pat O’Sullivan is now looking for a top manager and will be having talks with some household names in the coming weeks,” another prominent club member explained.

He also confirmed that a short list of top names in soccer in Ireland have been drawn up for the job.

Brian Kerr, Kenny Cunningham and Jason McAteer are among those that the club would like to interview.

“He (O’Sullivan) wants a top professional that will keep Limerick in the premier league and be there chasing trophies,” added the club member.

Last season Limerick had an average gate of just under 700 fans.

“The plan would be to double this figure and have more like 1,500 to 2,000 at matches. For big games like Cork and Shamrock Rovers you could expect up to 5,000. At least that is what we would be hoping for,” added the Limerick source.

The FAI have been very supportive of Limerick’s plans to move to Thomond Park for the season.

“Our spiritual home is the Markets Field and that is where we will end up. But it would have been too rushed moving in there next season, so we have a deal all but agreed to move to Thomond Park for next season,” he added.

The corporate area will be open for home fans and there will be a terrace area for away fans. Limerick FC are hoping to attract hundreds of new supporters, with parents bringing their children to matches.

“There will be around 16 to 17 matches played in Thomond Park and there will be at some stages of the season clashes with rugby, which will mean that soccer will be played either on Friday, Saturday or Sunday. The FAI have been very supportive in this area,” continued the source.

Limerick will also be looking at more pre-season friendlies after the visit of Manchester City last season. Clubs like Leeds, Everton and Spurs are being lined-up for matches in Thomond Park, it is believed.

“It is all very exciting and we hope that the Limerick public will get behind the team,” added the club member.