New Limerick FC manager Tommy Barrett
NEW Limerick FC manager Tommy Barrett said he is going into the role ‘with his eyes wide open’ as the new SSE Airtricity League is now just over four weeks away.
Thirty eight-year-old Limerick man Barrett has replaced Neil McDonald whose shock departure as manager was confirmed two weeks ago.
Barrett is a former Limerick player, having signed for the Blues in 2004/05 season, and due to injury, he retired in 2012 from League of Ireland football.
He also spent time at Shamrock Rovers and Athlone town as a player. Barrett has been manager of the club’s U-19 National league side.
Barrett takes charge of Limerick FC in a fixture for the first time this Saturday evening when the Blues host Galway Utd in a pre-season friendly at UL 4G rugby pitch this Saturday, 6.30pm.
Speaking at a press briefing at UL this week, Barrett said: “It was and wasn’t a surprise to me to get the job. I am doing the pro licence for a reason.
Obviously it has always been an ambition of mine to be the manager, so I am happy to be it.
”I am probably the right age to be a manager, 38, going on 39, maybe a bit young, but I wouldn’t be the youngest in the league.
“You are always surprised when someone (Neil McDonald) doesn’t come back and ends his term, but at the same time the man has family in England.
”I am a family man myself and it is very difficult being away from your family.
”It was a totally understandable decision.”
Eric Kinder, Neil McDonald’s assistant, is to remain on with the club until the end of the month.
“I am in the process of deciding the backroom team. It was Eric’s decision to leave. He has kindly agreed to stay until the end of the month which is great for me and the players.”
Barrett said he hoped to finalise the remaining members of the staff in the next ‘week or so’.
Barrett said he appreciates that he will be judged by the fans on the results the team achieves on the pitch.
Limerick FC kick-off their programme of games in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division with an away date against Sligo Rovers at the Showgrounds on Saturday, February 17.
Barrett told the press briefing at UL North Campus this Wednesday: “I am going into this job with my eyes open. It is a results-driven business That’s the nature of the game.
”You cannot be afraid of failure. If I am going in there and am afraid of failure, you can’t win the lotto if you don’t buy a ticket.
“I got to do what I got to do. I’m going to do my best.
“I want to win every game. Are we going to win every game? Probably not, but we might!
”We want to get a result in every game we play and we want to build that strong mentality in every game we play. It won’t be from lack of effort.”
Asked if he was envious of the player recruitment and squad depth the likes of Cork City, Dundalk, Sligo and Shamrock Rovers had achieved during the closed season, Barrett said: “No. If we get the players we want to get in we will be happy enough.”
In relation to the fans, Barrett added: “Our crowds never really dipped below the 1,000 mark last year, so our core fan base is very good.
”I think people of Limerick will get behind us. If we are trying hard and we are trying our best, I think we will get the fans out every week.
”If they see that honesty on the pitch, coming from us, (Chairman) Pat (O’Sullivan) came out and said where he is at.
”The man has poured a lot of his money and his life into the club and I have total respect for him doing that. A lot of us wouldn’t do it, let’s be honest about it.
”I am reiterating what has been said, can we pull together and get the businesses in and the people of Limerick to support us? That is what we are looking to do.
“Hopefully we can do that and we can galvanise and work together on it.”