Club: Limerick FC
Manager: Tommy Barrett
Stadium: Markets Field
Highest attendance this season: 3,516 (vs Cork City, May 5th)
Highest league goalscorer: Danny Morrisey (5)
Mid-season position: 9th
How we thought they would do
We had predicted that the Shannonsiders would just about hang on to their Premier Division status in our 2018 season expectations but that came before a pre-season nightmare took place as manager Neil McDonald’s resignation on the first day back at training left the team up in the air for the season ahead. An 8th place finish was predicted for the side as being able to secure a place in the Premier Division for 2019 was going to be their best bet for the season ahead.
How they really have done
Limerick sit in 9th position in the table as we reach the halfway point. Limerick are 6 points ahead of bottom place Bray Wanderers, while they trail Bohemians who are 8th by 3 points and 7th place Sligo by 5 points with both sides having a game in hand.
Results on the field have not been the greatest for the Super Blues so far this season. Poor results, pay disputes with players and unrest with their supporters due to ticket prices have caused many problems down in Shannonside. These issues have led to mass supporter boycotts of Markets Field with some even walking out before fulltime as the club seem to have lost their supports based on recent attendance figures.
Winless in their last 5 games, Limerick have only managed one win at home this season, managing a gritty 1-0 win over Bray Wanderers back in March. Limerick’s league form does not bode well for the remainder of the season as they have won 4 games, drawn 6 and lost 13 manging a minus 23 goal difference.
Moment of the season so far
Many would stay that one of Limerick’s standout moments this season was a phenomenal 6-3 victory over Waterford at the RSC back in May. Limerick were 3-0 up inside 23 minutes and many were left dumbfounded as to how Limerick pulled out this performance as their form before hand was a little lack lustre. Waterford manage to pull it back to 3-2 by the 48th minute as with Limerick being prone to conceding late goals earlier on in the season, they bagged a 4th in the 60th minute with former Waterford man Mark O’Sullivan getting the goal. Limerick managed a further two late on with Barry Maguire and Billy Dennehy hitting home a spot kick as we neared the finish. The win was vital for their season as it managed to keep them ahead of Bray in the table.
Star Player: Shane Duggan
With how Limerick have performed this season, trying to pick a player who has stood out is a tough task, but captain Shane Duggan has been vital to Limerick’s squad as himself, Eoin Wearen and Cian Coleman hade been Limerick’s lifeline in midfield.
Surprise star player: William Fitzgerald
One of Limerick’s surprise acquisitions this season has been the call up of young Will Fitzgerald. The 19 year old winger has been at Limerick since 2016 making his way up the ranks from the U17 and U19 squad’s to now being a regular in Tommy Barret’s side. Despite his lack of goal scoring, Fitzgerald has played in the majority of games with his attacking threat helping boost Limerick’s options up top.
Young player: Cian Coleman
Cian Coleman has been a phenomenal talent in the Super Blues midfield this season. One of Limerick’s newest signings at the start of the season, Coleman came to the Market’s Field with a lot expected of him. Impressing at Cobh Ramblers last season, he has transferred his form into helping spearhead the Limerick attack alongside Eoin Wearen and Shane Duggan in a three man Limerick midfield. Coleman has managed one goal for the Shannonsiders so far this season.
Star signing: Eoin Wearen
Limerick’s best signing has to be bringing in Eoin Wearen from Bohemians. The 25 year old midfielder missed last season due to a cruciate injury but has been important for Limerick this season. Wearen has been ever present in Tommy Barret’s midfield three and despite the Blues form, he has been one of their few standout players.
What they need to do in the transfer market
Limerick are in desperate need of a free scoring striker. With Rodrigo Tosi and Chiedozie Ogbene having both departed the Market’s Field, with no one having managed to fill their boots in the goal scoring department. Limerick brought in Mark O’Sullivan, Danny Morrisey and Daniel Kearns to help bolster their attacking options but none of the 3 have reached the levels expected of them. Morrisey has netted 5 goals for Limerick, while Kearns and O’Sulllivan have only managed to score once. Managing only 15 goals this season, it is clear than Limerick need to sign someone capable of firing them further up the table.
Where we see them finishing
Earlier on at the start of the season we had predicted Limerick would be able to keep their status in the Premier Division for next season. But things do not look good at the Market’s Field to suggest they will manage to remain in the Premier Division for 2019, with a mass player exodus expected when the transfer window opens due to pay issues. Should Limerick lose some of their star players and fail to add any new faces then it looks rather bleak for them heading towards the end of the campaign and into 2019.