LIMERICK FC midfielder Jason Hughes admitted it felt ‘amazing’ to run out for his home town club at Thomond Park and score the opening goal in their 2-0 win against Shamrock Rovers.
Twenty two-year-old Hughes, who re-joined Limerick from Ballynanty Rovers this summer, put the Blues on the road to victory over the Hoops when volleying home a stunning 11th minute goal.
Hughes, who played his schoolboy football with Geraldines, and later had stints with Janesboro and Athlone Town, said: “It is great to be involved with Limerick. When I put on that jersey, I am playing for my local team. It means a lot.
“I think I signed my first contract when I was 17, hoping to get where I am now, to be able to play for Limerick in the Premier Division, especially at Thomond Park and in front of the fans. It is amazing.”
Hughes said he was determined to make the most of his opportunity to impress Limerick boss Stuart Taylor when he was called in for a trial during the summer.
“I really did keep myself well,” Hughes explained.
“The training wouldn’t be as intense as what it is with Limerick, but I kept myself well.I was grateful to get the chance to go out and play for my team, the team I support.”
The Blues midfield believes more players currently playing in the local junior league could make the step up to League of Ireland football with the right level of commitment.
“There are some great players in the local junior league,” Hughes said.
“I really do think that with the right commitment that if one or two players wanted to play in the Premier Division they could do it. But it is up to them if they want to commit.”
Hughes admitted it took time to adjust to the pace of Tuesday night’s game with Shamrock Rovers.
“It was great to start and obviously to score a goal with my weaker foot was great,” Jason Hughes said.
“It was a fairly high tempo game. In the first half I kinds found it hard because it is just my second game starting.
“I was trying to find my feet, but like I say, when I did find my feet, thankfully I got a second breath.”
Stuart Taylor was lavish in his praise of Hughes.
“Jason has done great. He has been excellent since he came in,” Stuart Taylor said.
“He is a kid who has a lot of hunger and a lot of desire, a real passion about his play. He fits in exactly with how we want to play.”