Limerick FC entertain Shelbourne

Limerick FC's Shane Tracy
LIMERICK FC look for their third straight Premier Division victory against a second from bottom Shelbourne at Thomond Park on Saturday night.

LIMERICK FC look for their third straight Premier Division victory against a second from bottom Shelbourne at Thomond Park on Saturday night.

The Superblues followed up their last gasp victory against Bohs with an impressive 4-0 away win in Bray.

With confidence levels high in the camp there is an air of expectation ahead of Saturday’s 7.45pm kick off.

Man of the moment is undoubtedly Limerick’s dead ball specialist Shane Tracy.

Hometown lad Tracy has scored a remarkable three free kicks in the club’s last two matches.

His boss Stuart Taylor paid tribute saying: “He does it at training, but it doesn’t come easy. He puts hours in after training. He goes out and works very hard at it. All credit to him, he is gifted without a shadow of a doubt, he’s gifted.”

Even Tracy himself has been caught by surprise.

“To score three goals in two games, it has been a great week to be honest. I didn’t think I would (better his Bohs effort) - to score two I surprised myself,” he said.

Taylor, knowing other clubs will come sniffing around his star man, is confident local lad Tracy will stay loyal to his beloved Blues.

“He’s a Limerick boy at heart. He’s a supporter of the club, a local lad. He loves playing here,” said Taylor.

“In terms of his quality clubs are always looking for the best players around. Yes there will be other clubs interested but it’s a love of the club that he’s got. He’s one of the boys that came through as a youngster and his dream was always to play and score goals for Limerick football club and I don’t foresee that changing.

“But it is something that we need to make sure that we hold onto our best players,” added Taylor.

Tracy’s versatility is an attribute that compliments Taylor’s footballing philosophy.

“He’ slotted in well (at left back) and he’s also covered wide on the right. He’s got that versatility about his play - it’s great as a manager that you have those players. In my opinion football is all about being adaptable, being flexible and adapting to things that happen in the game,” said Taylor.

While Limerick go into Saturday’s game full of confidence, Shelbourne arrive in Limerick with just two points from their first nine matches.

However, they had their own last gasp 94th minute equaliser in Cork in their last match to secure their second point of the season.

On the Limerick injury front only Dominic Foley is definitely out - he’s still struggling with a back injury.

Barry Ryan picked up a niggle in Bray and will likely sit out a training session or two, but should be fine for Saturday.

Taylor hopes to have Robbie Williams available again after missing the last four matches with a troublesome groin injury.

Patrick Nzuzi returns after serving a one match ban - Limerick lad and academy product Shane Costelloe deputised impressively in Bray - for his sending off against Bohs.

“Young Shane Costelloe, I thought did fantastic on Sunday, he’s made his debut as a young lad on the other side of the pitch but we were more than confident he would be able to play there and he showed that,”said Taylor.

Otherwise Taylor has a fully fit squad to choose from with competition for places all over his squad.