Limerick Junior Soccer season returns

Pat Sheehan


Pat Sheehan


Limerick Junior Soccer season returns

Janesboro celebrate winning last season's title

Following a ten week refueling break for over 3000 Junior and Youth soccer players, all is in readiness for the kick off of the 2017/18 season with the Premier League acting as the curtain raiser this Sunday morning.

Champions Janesboro are hoping to win back to back titles for the first time in their history and the bookmakers make them early favourites to achieve their goal.

Early indicators suggest Pike, Nenagh, Fairview Rangers and Ballynanty Rovers will provide the best hope of knocking Janesboro off their perch with a number of other clubs well capable of staking a claim.

Janesboro, again under the guidance of Aidan Ryan and Shane O'Hanlon, kick off the defence of their title against Aisling Annacotty.

The Champions have made a couple of impressive additions to the squad getting goalkeeper Stephen McNamara from Ballynanty and former Kilmallock player Niall Hanley.

On the minus side, Donie Curtin's successful business sees him move to Dublin and Jamie O'Sullivan is also an absentee from last season.

Aisling's Mike McCarthy, voted Manager of the year last season, is at the helm again this time out and he has more or less stuck with the panel that won them the Tuohy Cup in March. Darren Harrington is back from Dublin and will prove a huge boost along with Dion Lynch and Shane Donegan from their youth side. Alan Connors has decided to hang up the boots after a satisfying career while Neil O'Brien quits his "loan" spell to return to Summerville.

The pick of the bunch in the opening games is the clash of Pike Rovers and Nenagh where two of 'Boro's biggest threats face off. Nenagh seemed to have the measure of Pike in their two games last season chalking up a 5-0 win followed by a 4-1 win later in the campaign. Eddie O'Donovan, Daithi O'Donoghue and Colm Enright will be joined by Dave Ryan this season and player wise the Hoops will by and large rely on the same squad as last season. Former player Brian Cleary will be on hand to cover for the first few games of the season while striker Brian O'Sullivan will return from a broken leg last season.

Nenagh will be guided by Dearan O'Gorman, Shane O'Gorman and Cillian Fitzpatrick and they welcome back the superb Mike O'Gorman after an injury ravaged season. Ross Fitzgerald and Mark Cahill will also boost the side but Max Boghiu has returned to Moldova.

Moyross have been hit hard in the close season with a number of defections but Frank Hogan and Philip Power are determined to carry on regardless. They will call up the likes of Danny McInerney and Alan Quinlivan from the B team and still have a number of irons in the fire before we kick off. They meet Carew Park in their opener with Albert Slattery back in situ along with Denis Griffin. Carew Park have added John O'Byrne from Janesboro's Youth team along with former Carrick winger Lee Hall. Injury to Brian Collopy means Gordon Stewart will surely carry on for another season (at least).

Pat O'Byrne is back in charge at Kilmallock where Jamie Shinnors has joined the squad. Jake Mulchay and Anthony Punch make welcome returns to action. They open their campaign with a home tie versus Regional Utd.

The Dooradoyle club have lost Ollie O'Driscoll to St Michaels, Timmy Dalton to Tipperary Town and Mike Guerin to Balla but new player manager Ray Lynch (assisted by Tom O'Connell and Shane O'Donoghue) is keen to put his mark on the side. He welcomes back Ken Neylon from Corbally while hoping youngsters like Evan Patterson and Declan Cusack fill the void left by the departed.

Ballynanty Rvs host newcomers Holycross hoping to build on last season's improvement. They have lost Stephen McNamara to 'Boro and Liam Brock to rugby but welcome back to the club Ken Meehan and Zac Hyland while Michael Guerin joins from Regional along with Croatian Nikola Strok.

Holycross put faith in the squad that propelled them to the Premier League with Barry Kirby joining from Croom Utd. Charleville v Fairview Rangers is postponed to a later date. My hope for the new season is that the soccer fraternity, fans, officials and players alike, bring civility back to the game. From the supporter on the side line, who for some reason thinks they are entitled to abuse the match officials, to the online supporters and commentators who think it is fair game to fling verbal abuse from behind a keyboard, at players, opposition and Administrators.

Clubs should realise that abusive behaviour on the touch line creeps into the team increasing greatly to their yellow card count. In years gone by anyone who was abusive to match officials was summarily evicted from the grounds. Maybe we need to go back to that if the alternative is listening to a constant barrage of abuse.

Online, some people are inclined to forget soccer is meant to be fun. Some people get so worked up they seem to think local Junior Soccer is a matter of life and death - it's not. Abusing people who give of their time voluntarily is not right. Be sure to disagree if so inclined and if you wish you can take their place within Clubs or Council if you think you can do a better job but at least respect their commitment and keep your comments to a non-personal variety.

Sunday August 13th

(kick off 10.30)

PJ Matthews Premier League

Moyross V Carew Park, R McCann, Kilmallock V Regional Utd, N Casey, Janesboro V Aisling/Annacotty, B Higgins, Ballynanty Rvs V Holycross, K Gorman, Nenagh AFC V Pike Rvs, J McNamara

Tuesday August 15th

(All Games Kick Off 6.30)

McGettigans Bar Div 2B

Caledonians V Nenagh B, J Rooney, Corbally B V Geraldines B, J McNamara , Ballylanders V Ballynanty B, B Curtin, Moyross B V Charleville B, M Bourke, Glenview V Hyde Rgs, M Kennedy

McGettigans Bar Div 2B

Newport B V Athlunkard Villa B, S Rooney, Aisling/Annacotty C V Holycross B, J Curran, Kennedy Park V Summerville B, M Kavanagh, Mungret Regional B V Star Rvs, R Broe, Murroe B V Pallasgreen, Martin Monaha

Wednesday August 16th

(All Games Kick Off 6.30)

Galtee Fuels Div 1A

Fairview Rgs V Cappamore, M Kiely

STA Furniture Div 3A

Caherdavin B V Knockainey B, J Clancy, Aisling Annacotty D V Prospect Priory B, A Whelan, Abbey Rvs V Bruff Utd, Martin Monahan, Herbertstown V Janesboro B, F O'Neill, Meanus V Parkville, P O'Brien

Thursday Aug 17th

(All Games Kick Off 6.30 unless stated)

PJ Matthews Premier League

Regional Utd V Moyross, J McNamara, Aisling/Annacotty V Carew Park, A Keogh, Holycross V Kilmallock, R Broe, Pike Rvs V Janesboro, D Power, B Curtin, R McCann, Fairview Rgs v Ballynanty Rvs, N Casey, Charleville V Nenagh AFC, 7.00, M Kiely

Galtee Fuels Div 1A

Aisling Annacotty B V Summerville, T Duggan, Geraldines V Castle Rovers, R Peiper, Mungret Regional V Murroe, G Clancy, Granville V Knockainey, B Higgins, Prospect Priory V Corbally, Martin Monahan

Galtee Fuels Div 1B

St Pat's V Caherdavin, M Kavanagh, Caherconlish V Kilfrush, M Bourke, Coonagh V Regional B, J Curran, Southend V Shelbourne, M Kennedy, Hill Celtic V Athlunkard Villa, S Rooney, Newport V Croom, D Broughton

Friday Aug 18th

(All Games Kick Off 6.30)

All Tan Sunbed Div 3B League

Shelbourne B V Weston Villa, M Cuddihy, Hyde B V Cappamore B, Ross Lynch, Wembley V Kilmallock B, J Mulligan, Castle United V Northside, D Brosnan

Edan Hair Salon Div 4

Dromore V Coonagh C, G Collopy, Coonagh B V Murroe C, D Downing, Summerville C V Athlunkard Villa C, R McCormack, Kilfrush B V Aisling Annacotty E, Mike Monahan, Parkville B V Mungret Regional C,