Horan hoping his injured Limerick stars return for the promotion push

Jerome O’Connell

Reporter:

Jerome O’Connell

Limerick senior football manager Maurice Horan has given his players the weekend off, content that his side have made the best possible start to the 2013 league.

Limerick senior football manager Maurice Horan has given his players the weekend off, content that his side have made the best possible start to the 2013 league.

There is no rest for Horan, though as he is a selector on the Munster inter-provincial side that play Ulster on Sunday.

There will also be four Limerick players involved - Seamus O’Carroll, John Riordan, Ger Collins and Tom Lee.

“It’s always great to have players involved even though some of our more regular Munster players weren’t available,” said Horan.

The Limerick senior footballers have put themselves into prime position for a promotion push with back-to-back wins against Leitrim and Offaly.

Maurice Horan’s side are joint top of Division Four of the Allianz League after two rounds of games.

The league now breaks until March 3 when Limerick will travel to face table-toppers Waterford.

After the two opening round wins the bookies have cut Limerick’s odds to be crowned Division Four champions.

The Shannonsiders were 5/2 from the out-set but are now evens to lift the league title in Croke Park on April 27.

“We are delighted the way it has gone, especially missing some of our more experienced players. But other players have stepped up,” explained the Limerick manager.

“We won one at home and one away so its the ideal start and we are very pleased.”

The impressive Limerick early season form comes despite injuries to key players.

John Galvin, Jim O’Donovan and John Cooke are all long term injured and won’t be back in contention for the next game, with mid-March the earliest for any of the trio.

However Limerick do have captain Seanie Buckley, Damien Quaid, Andy Lane and Stephen Lucey back in training and all could be ready for the top of the table clash against Waterford in three weeks.

Stephen Kelly is facing into more tests on his knee and the clash with The Deise could come too soon.

Limerick have used 21-players in the two opening games. While most are regulars among those given chances to nail down regular places were Derry O’Connor, Cian Coady, Bobby O’Brien and James O’Meara

“We started with two tricky assignments and got over them and now we have three weeks of a break. It’s three weeks we hope to get some of the more experienced players back on the field.

While Munster championship with Cork in the Gaelic Grounds on May 25 is the ultimate goal, Limerick are now perfectly poised for a promotion push.

The top two teams in the division will be promoted and also contest the league final in Croke Park on Saturday evening April 27.

Crucially, Limerick play all three Munster rivals in the final five league games.

“It’s something that pundits mightn’t take into consideration when looking at Division Four,” said Horan of the provincial rivalry.

“It does add some extra spice to the games and while there might be new mangers, all the players are very familiar with each other.”

Horan continued: “There is no doubting the competitive nature of Division Four - it really is a dog eat dog division”.

REMAINING GAMES

March 3 - away to Waterford

March 10 - home to Carlow

March 16 - home to Tipperary

March 24 - away to London

April 7 - away to Clare