08 Aug 2022

Limerick duo star as Sligo Rovers score famous European win over Motherwell

Limerick duo star as Sligo Rovers score famous European win over Motherwell

Limerick winger Will Fitzgerald in action for Sligo Rovers against Paul McGinn, of Motherwell, during the UEFA Europa Conference League second qualifying round tie at Fir Park on Thursday night

TWO Limerick-born players enjoyed starring roles as Sligo Rovers stunned Scottish Premier League side Motherwell in their second leg Europa Conference League second qualifying round tie at Fir Park on Thursday night.

Raheen winger Will Fitzgerald and Glin's Karl O'Sullivan both played the full 90 minutes for SSE Airtricity League Premier Division side Sligo who secured an excellent 1-0 away win in Scotland.

Sligo will now host Motherwell in the second leg of their Europa Conference League second qualifying round tie at the Showgrounds on Thursday evening next at 7pm.

The Bit O' Red, who are fifth place in the SSE Aitricity League defeated Bala Town of Wales in a penalty shoot-out in the first round of the Europa Conference League qualifiers.

Twenty three-year-old Limerick winger Will Fitzgerald spent the 2021 season playing with Derry City. He joined the Candystripes from Waterford FC on a 12-month contract at the start of this year.

Fitzgerald joined Waterford FC in July 2019, having enjoyed an impressive season with Limerick in the Premier Division in 2018.

Although the league campaign ultimately ended in bitter disappointment for the ‘Blues’ with their relegation back into the First Division, Fitzgerald’s fine run of form didn’t go un-noticed with now Rep of Ireland senior manager Stephen Kenny, who called him into his Rep of Ireland U21 home-based squad.

Former Ardscoil Ris student Fitzgerald, who played his schoolboy football with Mungret Regional, went on represent the Limerick District Schoolboy League at Kennedy Cup level, under the management of Jason O’Connor.

He later played League of Ireland U17 football with Mervue United, in Galway, before coming to Limerick FC in January 2016.

Then Blues boss ​Neil McDonald handed winger Fitzgerald his league debut in their Premier Division fixture with Drogheda Utd at the Markets Field in October 2017, with his first team bow coming in a FAI Cup last 16 victory over Finn Harps earlier in the season.

West Limerick native Karl O'Sullivan joined Sligo Rovers from Finn Harps on a two-year contract last December.

The 22-year-old has made over 100 club appearances between Harps, where he spent the last two seasons, and his former club Limerick FC.

O’Sullivan started his schoolboy soccer career playing with his local club Glin Rovers and his talent brought him to the attention of the Desmond League Kennedy Cup coaching team. 

In 2015 came the opportunity to play with Limerick FC U17s in the SSE Airtricity League. However, the 70km trek from Glin to Bruff, where Limerick were based at the time, was a difficult one to negotiate for the teenager.

The promising West Limerick native would go on to win a Desmond Cup with Glin Rovers and played for Kerry in the SEE Airtricity Under-Age league.

O'Sullivan then joined Limerick FC in 2017. O’Sullivan’s senior League of Ireland debut for the Blues  arrived at the end of the 2017 Premier Division campaign away to Shamrock Rovers.

Tommy Barrett then brought the former Tarbert Comprehensive student into the Limerick FC senior squad in 2018.

Limerick were relegated to the First Division in 2019, but as the season opened, O’Sullivan received an international call-up from U21 manager Stephen Kenny and he featured against the Rep of Ireland amateur side at Whitehall.

O’Sullivan, who played more than 50 senior games for Limerick in all, made an instant impact at Finn Harps in 2020.

O’Sullivan has scored several goals against his new club Sligo Rovers, including a double for Limerick in an FAI Cup tie.

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