On The Ball: Limerick football - 'It's time to shout stop' - Jerome O'Connell

Jerome O'Connell

Reporter:

Jerome O'Connell

Email:

joconnell@limerickleader.ie

On The Ball: Limerick football: "It’s time to shout stop" - Jerome O'Connell

Is Limerick football now ranked no32

IT wasn’t easy watching point after point sail between the posts.

No one would have suggested such a margin of defeat.

This isn’t about the hurling but the less fashionable Limerick football. 

It’s time to shout stop.

Last Friday Limerick lost to Kerry by 28-points in the Munster U-20 Football Championship.

Yes, Kerry are hot favourites for the All Ireland title but the ease at which they swatted Limerick aside was alarming, especially when one looks at the current standing of Limerick football. 

The loss signaled the end of the inter-county football season. Between senior, U-20 and minor Limerick played five games and lost all five – by a combined total of 69-points.

Over the last five years across the three grades, Limerick have played 24 games – winning six.

The seniors have played nine games – beating just Antrim.

The U-20/U-21s have played five games – beating Tipperary.

The minors have played 11 games – beating Waterford three times and Tipperary once.

Limerick finished this year’s Allianz Football League with one win (Waterford) and one draw (London) in Division Four.

Taking all that on board and with some Division Four teams getting championship wins, I think Limerick is now ranked 32 – rock bottom!

It’s time to shout stop.

Something has to happen and while there are six months without another competitive fixture, something has to happen soon.

Results are one thing but quite clearly there is much apathy surrounding Limerick football with keen club players not willing to commit to the varying inter-county panels.

I was just about lucky enough to hold onto the coat tails of a county U-21 panel in my day and have every respect for those that commit to varying inter-county panels but don’t even try to tell me Limerick are getting the best players on the field.

Billy Lee and his management team used 24 players in their two games against Clare and Mayo – seven were championship debutantes and that’s a stat that has been repeated over the last number of years.

A remarkable 48 players have played inter-county senior football championship for Limerick over the last four years!

I’ve a list on my desk that has another 23 players that saw action during the Allianz League also over the last four years.

Add in the McGrath Cup, which Limerick didn’t play this year and there are another four that wore the green jersey in competitive action.

Wow – in total a list of 75 players have played senior football for Limerick over 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018!

I’ve also found at least another seven players that were involved at some point over the last four years.

Now the list is up to 82 footballers...

Leaders are needed to step forward.

How about a Limerick Football Commission?

With all due respect to the current and recent County Board and Football Board officials, it’s probably best if they aren’t the driving force behind a Limerick Football Commission.

But all interested bodies are needed – current and recent County Board and Football Board officials, current and former footballers, current and former managements and ‘genuine football people’.

All in one room with no agendas and everything on the table – the good, the bad and the ugly.

Leaders would be needed to step forward to organise such a Limerick Football Commission and only time will tell if there is any appetite for change.

It’s time to shout stop and the more people shouting the better.