LIMERICK FC manager Stuart Taylor is pleased with the effort of his players so far as they ramp up their preparations for the upcoming Airtricity Premier Division campaign.
Limerick played out a goaless draw against First Division side, Mervue Utd, at Cassidy Park, Ennis on Sunday, giving Taylor his first chance to see his new team in action.
“I’m really happy with the boys attitude, commitment, effort - their desire has been fantastic, it really has,” said Taylor. “So, they’re ready to go into games.
“This was their first game today, we played a game amongst ourselves last weekend but this was our first game today. They done well on a difficult pitch. They looked to go and do the right things, they looked to try and get on the ball and pass it all the time which is pleasing even though the conditions were very poor.”
Mervue provided a stern test and looked the more likely to open the scoring with Limerick FC lacking any kind of goalscoring threat.
With just 16 players currently under contract ahead of the new season, Taylor took the opportunity to take a look at a couple of potential signings.
“We’ve got about 16 at this moment in time, there is a few people looking to come over as well. We had a couple of boys on playing today and we’ll see what comes out of that.”
The trialists he was referring to were Craig Burns and Axel Bossekota. Limerick FC will need to replace the goals of striker, Denis Behan, who left for Cork City, last week and the Congolese-born Belgian striker, Bossekota, was given an opportunity up front to fill that void. He did have the ball in the net on the hour mark but it was ruled out for offside. The well travelled Belgian, having had spells playing in France, Belgium and Cyprus, played for over an hour as the lone striker for the Premier Division side.
Craig Burns, who made 25 appearances for Waterford Utd in the First Division last season, lined out in defence for Limerick. New signing, Stephen Folan, played the full 90 at centre back and played his part in a solid defensive performance.
Taylor, while happy with the make-up of his squad and their approach to the hard graft of preseason, knows he is still a few short of where he wants to be.
“A couple of boys are looking to come over and we’ll see what comes to fruition. I’m probably looking at about another four or five.”
Limerick open the season against Cork City on March 8 in Thomond Park.
LIMERICK (starting team v Mervue) - Shane Cusack, Sean Kelly, Paddy Purcell, Stephen Folan, Craig Burns, Shane Tracey, Joe Gamble, Darragh Rainsford, Stephen Bradley, Cian Collins, Axel Bossekota. Subs: Brian O’Callaghan, Jeffrey Judge, Dave O’Leary