THE attacking options for the Limerick senior footballers for 2012 have been boosted by the addition of Tralee native Graham O’Connell.
The 25-year-old’s transfer from Austin Stacks to Monaleen was finalised this week and he has already joined up with Maurice Horan’s Limerick senior football squad.
O’Connell trained with the squad in Mick Neville Park in Rathkeale on Bank Holiday Monday as new coach Brian Lacey took his first training session.
Indeed O’Connell could make his debut in the green and white this Thursday night as Limerick play Cork Institute of Technology in a challenge game.
His competitive debut could come in the McGrath Cup on January 15 when Limerick entertain the students of UCC in Mick Neville Park.
O’Connell played against Limerick in 2007 and 2008 when he lined out for IT Tralee in the McGrath Cup.
O’Connell is a garda based in Limerick city.
The free-taking corner forward kicked five points as Austin Stacks won Division One of the Kerry football league in mid-November with a 1-15 to 2-9 win over Dingle.
O’Connell starred for Tralee CBS in the Corn Uí Mhuirí before progressing to play Sigerson Cup football for both IT Tralee and The Garda College.
While only time will tell if O’Connell can force his way into the Limerick starting line-up, his transfer will be another strong addition to county senior football champions, Monaleen.
Already the champions have Ger Collins, Barry Fitzpatrick, Paul Kinnerk and Donal O’Sullivan on the inter-county senior panel.
While O’Connell could see action in the McGrath Cup on Sunday week, Limerick will be without a number of regulars who are battling back to fitness after injuries.
John Galvin, Andrew Lane, Jim O’Donovan, Seanie Buckley, Stephen Kelly and Brian Scanlon are all likely to be unavailable due to injuries.
Ian Ryan will miss the game with the reigning Sigerson and Cork SFC winners as he will be out of the country.
Maurice Horan’s side could also be forced to line out without a number of players who will play in the early season competition with varying Third Level Colleges.
But good news for Limerick is that former captain Padraig Browne will return to the county panel in March.
The Fr Caseys man departed to Australia in Autumn 2010 but was back in Limerick over the Christmas and indicated to the Limerick management that he would return to the panel when he returned to Abbeyfeale in March.
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