Limerick FC look to secure top flight status as Galway Utd visit the Markets Field

Colm Kinsella


Colm Kinsella


Limerick FC look to secure top flight status as Galway Utd visit the Markets Field

Limerick FC side that defeated Drogheda last weekend

LIMERICK FC will secure their Premier Division status in the SSE Airtricity League for next season if the Blues can take a point from Friday night's crucial fixture with Galway United at the Markets Field.

Limerick moved five points clear of the drop zone with just two games to go, thanks to a hard fought 1-0 victory over already-relegated Drogheda Utd at the Markets Field on Saturday.

Brazilian striker Rodrigo Tosi was the hero for the Blues when netting the winner from the penalty spot in the 48th minute, his 13th league goal of the season.

Limerick will retain their top flight status in the League of Ireland for 2018 on Friday if Neil McDonald’s charges can claim a draw in their penultimate fixture of the season against 10th placed Galway, who occupy one of the automatic relegation places.

Rodrigo Tosi said: “We need to work hard this week ahead of the Galway game and make sure we are as concentrated as possible to get the points, at least one point which we need.

”We knew Drogheda would be a tough game because they had nothing to lose. They were bottom of the table and already relegated.

“We were a little bit under pressure going into the game and needed three points, so I think that is why it was important to score as soon as possible. We couldn’t and got a bit nervous.

”But in the end we got the three points which we needed. I missed the last penalty I took, but I was comfortable taking it. In training I have been practicing.

“Even the last penalty that I missed, it was not that bad.  I had to take it to get myself into the game. That is what happened and I’m really happy that I scored the goal.”

Limerick are Tosi’s 14th professional club in 15 years but he has bagged more than 165 league goals on his travels from Brazil to Brunei to Greece, Switzerland, Iran, Singapore, Indonesia and Ireland.

Thirty four-year-old Tosi said he was undecided as to whether he will be playing his football at Limerick in 2018.

”I dunno what to say (about 2018) because I think the club need to be sure that we are staying in the top league before talking to the players. 

”I am not sure what is going to happen next year.

”Limerick has been cool, it’s a good life. I like it. I like Ireland as well. The football is a little bit different here with the pace because I was in Asia before. ”

Limerick FC manager Neil McDonald handed a league debut to exciting local talent William Fitzgerald 

Limerick FC manager McDonald handed a league debut to exciting young local striker William Fitzgerald in the second half of Saturday’s win over the Drogs.

Fitzgerald had made his senior debut for the club in the FAI Cup last 16 victory over Finn Harps earlier in the season.

“I have been impressed with him since I have come here,” McDonald said.

“Unfortunately, he is at college, so we only see him once or twice a week, but when he comes in he trains with the first team on a regular basis and he is definitely very confident on the ball and he delivers in the box. He showed that when he came on which is great.”

McDonald said Limerick wanted to finish the season by extending their current four-game unbeaten league run to six games.

After Friday night's visit of Galway, Limerick FC travel to Tallaght Stadium to face Shamrock Rovers in their final fixture of the season.

“We want to finish off the season really well. That is three or four undefeated now in the league and if we can go undefeated until the end of the season, that would be a fantastic effort from the players, especially newly-promoted.”

McDonald said both Galway Utd, scrapping for their Premier Division side also, and Limerick were under significant pressure on Friday night.

“Hopefully there is a big crowd here on Friday night and we are certainly capable of beating Galway at home.”