Jason O'Connor looks at who Limerick FC should try to sign
With Limerick FC’s financial future still not clear and talk of part time football being touted as a more viable option going forward, Tommy Barrett’s access to transfer funds will continue to be limited.
If this is to be the case next year, the club should look into the local scene for some young and also some ready made replacements should the full time professionals on the books have to leave the club.
The ability and talent of footballers in this city, from schoolboy up to and including Junior football, in my opinion, contains players that are capable of playing in the League of Ireland for the senior team.
Currently, local talent like William Fitzgerald, Ger Barry, Killian Brouder, Tony Whitehead and Alan Murphy have made the breakthrough to the senior team this season.
Having watched all of Limerick FC's home games in the SSE Airtricity League this season, I feel there is an amount of local talent that, given the opportunity, part time or not, could show that they have the potential and ability to step up and play for Limerick FC. Here are just a few:
Club: Pike Rvs, Age: 24, Position: CM
A ball playing athlete, McGann has scored some very important goals in big games for Pike Rovers this season, including a delightful effort in last week’s Munster Junior Cup final victory over Janesboro. Technically excellent, physically strong and athletic, Steven McGann for me is the modern day Irish junior/senior midfield player and has the potential to be a really top player in this country.
Club: Fairview Rgs, Age: 18, Position: Left Back
Physically very strong, Considine is really good in one v one defending situations. Quick and a very good reader of the game. Josh also hurls for Patrickswell is solid in the air and has played left sided centre back regularly this season for Jason Purcell's Fairview Rgs Junior team.
Still under age for u-19 national league level, Josh is a player who given the opportunity at senior level has the potential to be challenging for a first team spot before the end of this season.
Club: Janesboro, Age: 28, Position: CF
Clarke, having played first division football for the Super Blues under Pat Scully, is aware, like everyone locally, that his ability is and has been above Junior football since he returned to it. His goal scoring record confirms this. Technically sound, Clarke can link the play and retain possession of the ball for his team superbly. Lethal in the air, on the ground and from set pieces the target man undoubtedly has the ability to play at this level given the opportunity.
Club: Pike Rvs, Age: 18, Position: CF
In my opinion the most natural finisher the city has seen since former Fairview Rgs great Jimmy Sheehan. Power is technically very good and is a proven goal scorer at every age group he has played. Capped at U-18 this year by Ireland, Cian also played in the Hibernia Cup for Ireland as a schoolboy and has spent all his local career with Pike Rvs.
Power would still be under age at u-19 national league level and is a player that I feel given a sustained period will score goals at any level, an undoubted talent he has a very bright future in the game.