Limerick FC must seize the day to claim cup glory

Limerick FC must seize the day to claim cup glory

LIMERICK FC HOST St Patrick's Athletic in the EA Sports Cup final on Saturday evening, scheduled for a 5.30pm kickoff.

Overcoming a host of Premier Division opposition to get there, the Blues must take one final step if they're to claim their first major trophy in 14 years. In their way, stand Liam Buckley's Pat's who knocked the Blues out of the FAI Cup only a number of weeks ago.

Coming off the back of a Champions' homecoming, Limerick have been spared a competitive fixture before the build-up to this clash, while the Saints faced former Limerick goalkeeper Stephen Henderson's Cobh side at their Emmet Road venue last Saturday in the FAI Cup - coming out 3-2 victors.

Martin Russell has no injury concerns ahead of the final, with a full panel to choose from and a solid week's rest under his squad's belt. For the Saints, Jamie McGrath took a knock to his hamstring last weekend and is being monitored.

The Saints sit just about in touch of the European places, but it's certainly an uphill struggle if they're to catch the front-runners. Into the last four of the FAI Cup, Pat's have more distractions than Limerick, who've nothing left to play for, bar an unbeaten league season - which shouldn't be too taxing to achieve.

Tickets for this game were hotly sought after, with season ticket holders and supporters' club members being given first priority. The capacity for the game has been set at 4,330 - with a sell-out expected.

One player that has been on both sides of this fixture in recent times is Limerick winger Aaron Greene. Speaking ahead of the clash with the Saints, Greene mentioned that home advantage means a lot to him and the squad.

He said: "I'm just delighted we have it in the Markets Field, to be honest. To get any team here. To get this community - everyone behind us on the 17th will be great. It shows the hard work we've put in and it'll be great to showcase it. Realistically, Pat's wouldn't have gotten a full house - no disrespect to them. Whereas here, it'll be full."

To be successful, Limerick have to utilise the pace advantage they have out wide. Greene should line up against Ger O'Brien on the left, and while Greene played with the Saints, his link to O'Brien runs even deeper.

"Ger was my underage manager so we know each other very well. To me Ian Bermingham is still top class. He doesn't stop running. Ger is different now - he's more position based. You want to test yourself against the best in the country and they're two of them."

Having been around the league for some time, Greene can spot potential when he sees it. While some don't regard the EA Sports Cup as a huge deal, the Dublin native certainly does - comparing Limerick to another former club.

"I wasn't part of Sligo's team when they won the EA Sports Cup, but that's a similar story to what could happen here. It was Sligo's first trophy before they went on a big run of winning things. They won it in the Showgrounds. There's similarities. If we win it here, it would be unbelievable," said Greene.