LIMERICK FC Chairman, Pat O’Sullivan is confident the club will begin life back in the Premier Division of the Airtricity League at a redeveloped Markets Field, the spiritual home of senior soccer in the city.
Limerick FC’s return to the top flight after 19 years was confirmed with Waterford United’s surprise defeat to Mervue United on Friday night.
Pat Scully’s Limerick side celebrated their promotion to the Premier Division by recording a 2-0 victory over Longford Town at the weekend and the celebrations will continue this Saturday night when the new First Division champions host Wexford Youths in their final League game at Jackman Park (7.45pm).
Limerick FC hope to lodge a planning application for the redevelopment of the Market’s Field with the local authority in the coming weeks. The soccer club plan to install a new floodlit playing surface at the venue, as well as renovating the existing stand on the site which previously staged greyhound racing.
The club also envisage installing dressing rooms under the stand, upgrading the bar facilities, opening a new club shop, new offices and a museum.
Over the coming seasons, plans are in place which would see the capacity of the Market’s Field eventually increased to a capacity of 8,100. A stand on the existing ‘poplar’ side of the venue is set to cater for some 2,500 spectators. Two stands will be developed behind either goal.
Limerick FC Chairman, Pat O’Sullivan said: “We have our plans done. We still have a bit more work to do which is still a few weeks away from being completed. Then we are ready to go with a planning application.
“If everything goes according to plan the Market’s Field will be ready for the start of next season.
“We know the planning process will take about six weeks if there are no issues.
“We know what the FAI need in relation to the licence. There will be no issues with that.”
Should the work on the Market’s Field not be ready in time for the start of next season, Limerick FC plan to continue playing their home games at Jackman Park.
O’Sullivan explained: “Our Plan B is that we expect to be able to continue in Jackman Park because we are in negotiations with the FAI about that. We now have the pitch to a level which is as good as anything in the country.
“We know the dressing room facilities will be extended and that will be completed before the start of next spring.
“There is also the matter of another entrance into Jackman Park, but we are addressing that now.
“In fairness to the FAI, there have been very helpful and supportive in that. We do have a Plan B.”
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