Former Limerick FC star Paul O'Conor
FORMER LIMERICK FC players have given their verdicts on what to expect from Tommy Barrett’s charges ahead of the 2018 season.
Ex-Blues midfielder Paul O’Conor and defender Mick Leahy believe there’s plenty of positives from the Shannonsiders’ off-season, despite the widely held view that they’ll be in the relegation scrap come the end of the season.
O’Conor (30) departed midway through last season when he was transfer listed by then-manager Neil McDonald. Having previously signed for the club in 2015, he extended his stay for the 2016 season, before departing last July. He’s now at likely strugglers Bray Wanderers.
Speaking to the Limerick Leader, the Dublin native believed Tommy Barrett has one job to do in particular if he’s to succeed this year.
“Making Tommy the manager is a very positive move. The one thing he has to try and do is getting Shane Duggan back to this best. That’s the key to staying out of any relegation battle. He’s such a pivotal player.”
O’Conor was relegated in 2015 with Limerick, so he understands the situation. He points towards the influx of experienced pros as a potential difference maker.
“Bringing in the likes of the Dennehy brothers and Mark O’Sullivan will really add to the group. That wealth of experience is very beneficial going forward, even though they’ll definitely feel the loss of Chiedozie Ogbene.”
Mick Leahy, now lining out for St. Pat’s, is also keen to congratulate Barrett on grabbing the managerial role, as well as outlining a gem among the squad.
“On a personal note, Tommy is a really good guy and I’m delighted for him. He’s brought in good heads with the likes of Shaun Kelly, Darren and Billy Dennehy and Mark O’Sullivan. These players will play a huge role in deciding their fate.
“[Daniel Kearns], when fully fit will cause anyone problems, so look out for him. Limerick lack depth like most outside the top four, but I think they’ve enough quality to avoid the drop.”
New season odds do not agree with the confidence of Limerick's former employees with the ‘SuperBlues’ 80/1 rank outsiders for the league and by virtue of that fact, they are favourites to go down.
The odds for the new season are as follows:
Cork City 6/4
Shamrock Rovers 7/1
Derry City 20/1
St Patrick's Athletics 20/1
Waterford FC 33/1
Sligo Rovers 50/1
Bray Wanderers 66/1
Limerick FC 80/1