LIMERICK FC’s big-name summer signings, Denis Behan and Joe Gamble, are set to make their home debuts in the ‘Blues’ crunch Airtricity League First Division clash with Monaghan United at Jackman Park this Friday night (7.45pm).
Former Cork City and Hartlepool players Behan and Gamble made their competitive debuts for Pat Scully’s promotion-chasing side in the precious 1-0 away win over Athlone Town at Lisseywoolen on Saturday night.
The victory ensured fourth-placed Limerick remain strong promotion contenders as their points tally is the same as the second and third-placed sides in the table, Cork City and Monaghan United respectively.
Limerick trail pace-setters Shelbourne by 10 points. The top two sides in the First Division will gain automatic promotion to the Premier Division at the end of the season. The third-placed side will face the bottom-placed team in the Premier Division in a play-off.
Limerick manager Pat Scully is encouraging supporters to turn out in large numbers at Jackman Park this Friday night as the Shannonsiders go head-to-head with one of their main promotion rivals.
“Friday night will be a tough game for us,” Pat Scully said.
“Monaghan are right at the cutting edge of the promotion race like ourselves.
“But I am very happy with where we are at the minute. With just need to keep our concentration and keep focused on the task in hand.
“We have always received very good support from the fans. Hopefully for such a key match and with the new players who came in during the summer transfer window in line to make their home debuts, hopefully we will have a big turnout.
“There was huge motivation for us to pick up all three points on offer against Athlone Town last weekend, especially after Monaghan had been beaten the night before.
“It was a very difficult game for us. Athlone tend to be a very defensive team. They slowed the game down. A lot of Athlone’s players had been involved with Limerick and that added to their motivation in wanting to do well.
“Our players’ character and will-to-win on the night was fantastic. They were very professional in their approach.We need to push on from here.”
Manager Scully said he was pleased with the contributions new signings Behan and Gamble had made in the game, despite their lack of competitive matches in recent months.
Another new signing, Shaun Maher, who also made his debut for the club in the game, picked up a calf injury and had to be replaced. Maher is set to be out of action for up to four weeks.
Pat Scully said; “I was very pleased with how Joe (Gamble) and Denis (Behan) fared against Athlone. Joe did very well, especially when we went 1-0 up. He used his experience very well.
“Denis (Behan) also impressed me. It was difficult for him because the service to the strikers wasn’t great on the night.”
Saturday night’s win over Athlone also marked a return to competitive action for David O’Leary who had been sidelined with injury in recent times.