Billy Dennehy, now of Limerick FC is pictured during his time at St Patrick's Athletic. The new arrival is looking forward to getting started at the Markets Field Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
TWO-TIME SSE Airtricity League Premier Division winner and recent Limerick FC signing, Billy Dennehy, believes a strong work ethic will be the key to success for the ‘Blues’ this season.
Limerick played out a 0-0 draw with Galway United in their opening pre-season fixture at UL on Saturday night in what was new manager Tommy Barrett’s first time to take charge of the team.
Limerick FC announced the signing of experienced winger Dennehy, who was most recently with Saint Patrick's Athletic, last week.
The 30-year-old, twice a League winner with Shamrock Rovers, will wear squad number 20 this season.
Dennehy described his move to Limerick for the 2018 SSE Airtricity League Premier Division as ‘a different challenge is something that I always look forward to.’
Limerick FC kick-off their Premier Division programme of fixtures for 2018 with an away date against Sligo Rovers at the Showgrounds on Saturday, February 17.
Kerry native Dennehy had his first training session with Limerick on Friday last, just 24 hours before making his debut for the Blues against First Division Galway Utd.
He is relishing the challenge of playing under new Blues boss Tommy Barrett.
“I’m really looking forward to getting started,” Dennehy said.
“We have a lot of very good young players. A lot of them are looking for an opportunity to play and here’s a big chance for them now.
“It’s a hard league, especially now going down to ten teams, it’s going to be very competitive. All we can do is all get together as a group of players, work hard every day in training, push each other and be ready for when the start of the season comes.
“As a player, you get dealt different challenges in your career. A different challenge is something that I always look forward to.
“It’s a great club Limerick, what they have done off the field in the last couple of years – it’s phenomenal, with the Markets Field back and the training facilities here in UL.
“It’s a club that has made massive strides off the pitch. It’s unbelievable work.
“It’s about a group of players coming together now and really pushing each other, trying to get the best out of each other for the season ahead. Once you come in every day and work hard then the rest will look after itself.
“Hopefully, we can all work very hard for pre-season and see where that takes us come the start of the season.”
Asked what supporters can expect to see from him in the coming campaign, Dennehy added: “A lot of hard work. As a player, you’re going to have your good days and your bad days, but I think if you turn up every game and you do your best and work your hardest for your team, then I’m sure all the supporters appreciate that.
“I think if you have that as a team then you know you’ll be competitive in every game – that’s all we can do. I’m raring to go now – I really am.”
Experienced defender Shaun Kelly also started for the Blues in Saturday night’s friendly with Galway Utd.
Twenty eight-year-old right-back Kelly returned to the club having played a part in each of the last seven seasons with the Blues.
Kelly said: “It is great to be back. After obviously leaving Limerick a few months ago to go and do other things with work and stuff like that, I have really enjoyed it, so I am happy that Tommy (Barrett) wants me back in and around the place.
“It was obviously a shock that I left in the summer. Now that Tommy has given me the call to come back, I had to take it.
”When you are out of the game at this level for the past six months, it is only then you realise how much you miss it. It is great to be back and I am just glad I can work at my football and my work. I am here to work hard and hopefully I can help out some of the younger lads coming through.
“From the day I left last July it happened so quick. t was a bit of a shock, I did miss it, missed training every day which it all I have ever known to do, so going from that to nothing, just going to work all the time, was a big shock, but I really enjoyed working out in Shannon.
“We have obviously had Tommy in for sessions before and he has been around the club for a few years now. I Think everyone is looking forward to it, it’s a new start for everyone.
”With the young lads coming up, Tommy knows what they are about, I think it is ideal we have added some experience to the squad because before this it was probably just too young.
”Even though they are good players you need some experience around the changing room to help them through.
In relation to the other signings Limerick have made in the past week, including Billy Dennehy, Kelly said: “Billy had great power and pace. He is very direct, always wanting to get at you, I’m glad it will be playing with him and not against him this season.
”There are a few great new signings there. There are a lot of new players coming in who I have played against plenty of times as well as some I haven’t played against.”