LIMERICK FC manager Tommy Barrett believes an apathy among the public is preventing more fans from turning out to watch the side playing their home SSE Airtricity League First Division fixtures.
Just 435 paying customers turned out for the ‘Blues’ win over Galway Utd at the Markets Field on Saturday evening. Fourth-placed Limerick are unbeaten at home this season. The ‘Blues’ have won five and drawn three of their home fixtures, scoring 10 goals at the Garryowen venue.
Limerick now sit just six points off First Division leaders Shelbourne.
Tommy Barrett said: “I spoke about attendances last season and got hammered for it, so I’m not going to speak too much about it.
“There is a bit of an apathy which is sad to see really. I think we have to look at soccer in this region and soccer in this country probably. A big overview is needed probably.
“We need to make it more attractive for people to come to games. We got to get more professional in every club in how we do things and how we attract people and brand ourselves better.
“There is no point in blaming people for not coming, we have to do something about it and try our best to get people in the gates.”
Barrett’s charges produced a strong second half display to edge past visitors Galway on Saturday.
“I think the game was flat in the first half. I didn’t think either team were good to be fair. We probably had the better chances still, even at that it was a mistake for their goal.
“We had to up it in the second half and we did. We should have had three or four I felt.”
Limerick’s comeback was sparked by a fine goal from midfielder Lee Devitt shortly after the restart.
Barrett said: “Lee is a great lad. You know what you will get with him, you can play him left wing, play him centre midfield or left back. He is primarily a centre mid and he is going to be that.
“Like that, we have to mind him, watch him, he is still only 18 years of age. He is a really good prospect and we will look after him as best we can.”
Barrett was delighted for striker Kieran ‘Red’ Hanlon who notched the winning goal.
“He is a good finisher ‘Red’. We know he is not conditioned yet. He was two to three years out of the game.
“He has been through a difficult period. His Dad died and he had a child who was sick. It is great to see him back because we should be aspiring to get good players like him playing at the highest level in the country which he is,” Barrett added.