Limerick FC sign former Newcastle defender

LIMERICK FC have secured the services of former Newcastle Utd defender Stephen Folan ahead of the new Airtricity League Premier Division season.

LIMERICK FC have secured the services of former Newcastle Utd defender Stephen Folan ahead of the new Airtricity League Premier Division season.

Galwayman Folan was released by Newcastle last summer and has spent the last couple of months on trial with a number of clubs in Ireland and England as he sought to rebuild his career.

He announced on Twitter on Sunday that he had agreed terms with Limerick.

“Absolutely buzzing I’ve got my future sorted,” he tweeted. “Looking forward to exciting times @LimerickFCie, can’t wait for new season.”

The 21-year-old played with Mervue Utd and Salthill Devon before joining Newcastle at 16. But he tore his cruciate ligament when he was 18 and despite featuring for the reserves, he never made a first team appearance.

“I just want to get playing football and enjoying it again,” he said last week. “Money is not important to me. I’m 21 now and I should be playing by now.

“It has been a frustrutating time, there did a come a point when I was just going to pack it in, give up football and maybe go to college. It was so frustrating to know I had the ability but nothing was going right for me, things that were out of my hands were holding me back.

“I know that I have something to offer and I feel that a move to the league here at home could be good for me.

“The League of Ireland is way better than it’s given credit for. I can see that in the games I have watched and the players who have gone from the league and into big clubs in England.

“It was disappointing and heartbreaking to leave Newcastle as it was my second home but I had to uproot and leave, and the last few months have been tough,” he added.

Meanwhile, Limerick have also confirmed that Shane Tracy and Jeffrey Judge have re-signed for the new season.

Tracy, who won Supporters’ Player of the Year for 2012 played a crucial role in securing promotion for the Blues.

Originally a left winger, Pat Scully drafted Tracy in a left-back last season and his performances were equally as consistent. Scoring ten goals, Shane finished joint top goalscorer for the club alongside Rory Gaffney in the First Division.

Limerick have also secured the services of local player Jeffrey Judge for thePremier Division campaign.