Jason O'Connor offers his opinion on how Limerick FC could counter the expected departure of several key players in the transfer window
WITH the late payment of wages saga and the possible exit of up to six first team players on the horizon at Limerick FC, if offers are received for them, of course, I will as always aim to focus on matters of a football nature and consider worst case scenarios and solutions for our senior club’s most recent crisis.
If the current financial situation at the club isn’t resolved before the transfer window opens, one could see offers for Brendan Clarke who is a top five goalkeeper in this league in my opinion, Killian Cantwell, who has been a revelation for Tommy Barrett’s side this season, rating at least a seven out of ten in any one of four positions consistently and Eoin Wearen, if Dublin based, could also want full time football closer to home.
The Blues engine room is filled with quality and obviously Shane Duggan and Conor Clifford will both be in demand from top four clubs, but Cian Coleman also through his energetic and determined performances has started to build a positive reputation for himself at this level and is another who might not be without admirers.
Daniel Kearns and Henry Cameron will also be seeking full time football, I’m sure, which could decimate an already threadbare squad who are only just past half way in this year’s Airtricity League Premier Division season.
Whilst the timing of Limerick’s financial woes are coming to a head as the transfer window approaches, it’s also at the end of the junior league locally where next weekend league champions Janesboro play holders Ballynanty Rvs in the Lawson Cup final, the finale of the Junior football calendar.
This means that ‘part time’ players plying their trade locally will be free agents and it’s these ‘part time’ players that Limerick could use for the reminder of the season if required.
Obviously Brendan Clarke will be a huge loss if he does depart so a goal keeper will be needed, luckily on the local scene John Mulready, of Janesboro, and Gary Neville, of Pike Rvs, are as good as what’s in Munster outside of full time professionals.
Tommy Holland is on the club’s books already part time so they could all be possible netminders.
Shaun Kelly and Shane Tracy are both already playing on a part time basis, I believe, and one would hope that our centre back pairing of Tony Whitehead and Killian Brouder could be maintained as both are academy graduates and local players.
Just a thought, but one that Darren Dennehy, due to his lack of game time, may be happy with a part time deal, could be worth exploring. Jason Cross is developing very well in the U19 squad and Josh Considine of Fairview and Ryan Doherty, of Janesboro, could also be other local targets.
William Fitzgerald, Colm Walsh-O’Loghlen and Karl O’Sullivan all being students will, I’m sure, remain at the club and if Barry Maguire was on a pay-as-you-play agreement due to his long absence from the game, the Blues might keep hold of the playmaker and then consider the two Stephen’s, McGann, of Pike, and Bradley, of Janesboro, to add some bite to the central area.
Adam Foley a regular scorer over the last two years for the u19 side could have competition from the deadly Janesboro duo of Shane Clarke and Keith Mawdsley who between them have delivered over one hundred junior goals this season and with Cian Power’s natural goal scoring ability also on the doorstep, one see’s that even if it is ‘part time’ there’s enough talent locally to give hope to the Blue Army and Limerick footballing public who are now all asked to assist in keeping the game alive in the city at senior level.