Andrew Cunneen: Who Limerick FC should have on their shopping list

Andrew Cunneen

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Andrew Cunneen

Andrew Cunneen: Who Limerick FC should have on their shopping list

The League of Ireland transfer window is now open - and while Limerick may choose to be observers rather than aggressors this time around, they're well aware that they need to strengthen if they're to be a force in the top tier upon promotion back to the Premier Division.

This week, I'll look at some players that would improve Martin Russell's squad - ensuring they're well able to fight it out with the big boys. 

Brian Murphy (Portsmouth)
The Waterford native has left Portsmouth and may well look at returning home. Despite his age, Murphy would be a valuable asset in the dressing room - a voice to help the younger players through tough spots, as well as being a chief communicator to compliment Robbie Williams. 

Paddy Barrett (Dundalk)
Another Waterford native. This time - a member of Stephen Kenny's squad that's lifted back-to-back titles. While it may be a stretch, the partnership of Gartland and Boyle is so hard to separate, that game time could tempt Barrett to Garryowen if he's not getting a look in at Oriel Park. 

Ryan McBride (Derry City)
This one is a long-shot. It's not that often you'll find Derry natives pop down from the Brandywell to sign with other League of Ireland clubs. If Russell could persuade McBride otherwise, Limerick would snatch one of the best central defenders in the country. 

Shane O'Connor (Cobh Ramblers)
Shane Tracy is a superb footballer and he often misses out on the praise due to him. However, Tracy's spent most of his career out wide left, when his most natural position is in central midfield. Bringing in O'Connor - who's already familiar with Martin Russell - would provide better overlaps as well as freeing up Tracy to fight for a place in midfield. 

Dylan Watts (UCD)
This may just be a squad addition, but when you consider how light Limerick are in midfield now, this pick-up might be shrewd. The UCD production line has taken somewhat of a stumble in the last couple of years, but Watts is right out of the top drawer. He has the ability to play deeper, as well as at #10. 

Conor McCormack (Derry City)
The most complete performance of any midfielder that played in the Markets Field last year. McCormack would be the perfect combination with Shane Duggan in the middle of the park - allowing Duggan to take more forward bursts than he's doing at present. 

Ryan Connolly (Galway United)
Perhaps the most underrated midfielder in the league, Connolly is so often wasted in the hole, when he's at his best with the game in front of him. Signing from Galway shouldn't be an issue - Limerick is a more attractive proposition for most players, and Connolly would suit Martin Russell's approach down to the ground. 

Billy Dennehy (St Pat's)
It's bizarre to call a man who guarantees you goals from out wide a wildcard, but Dennehy's temperament justifies this tag. If Martin Russell can get him settled, he has himself an absolute superstar who's deadly from set pieces. 

Dave McMillan/Ciaran Kilduff (Dundalk)
Both of these strikers contribute to Dundalk's success. They typically share game time, but this is never enough to satisfy strikers. The Lilywhites will be able to hold onto their first choice, but half an hour every week won't be enough to keep the second string forward come November.

Ryan Curran (Finn Harps)
This one's a shot in the dark, but there's very few strikers like Curran in the league. He has a bit of everything, and in a top tier where clinical strikers are few and far between, Russell could really develop Curran.