Limerick United will provide a “bottom up” reboot of football in the region according to interim Chairman of the new club and former CEO of Limerick and City Council, Conn Murray.
The newly formed Limerick United was launched this afternoon and will concentrate on developing a best-in-class football nursery for the city and neighbouring counties.
Limerick United will begin as a footballing academy for U-13, U-15, U-17 and U-19 boys and will also have representation in the Women’s National Senior League. The aim is to have a senior men’s side return to the League of Ireland in 2021.
“Today is the beginning of a new era for football in Limerick,” announced Murray. “We are going to focus on what every club or sporting organisation does when it hits a low and that is on our youth.
“If you look at the top teams, clubs, counties or provinces in and sport, you will see pretty much everything point back to a moment in time where they put the focus on developing their young talent.
“That’s what we are doing now with the establishment of Limerick United. We are going to develop one of the best young footballing academies in Ireland.
“This will not happen overnight but will be a gradual and sustainable development that, by the time we get Limerick United achieving its full potential, the structures will be in place to keep it there.”
Murray added that the club will be based in the Markets Field and that former Limerick FC manager Tommy Barrett will head up the club’s Academy.
Barrett endured a torrid time as manager of the now defunct Limerick FC, during which he had to deal with mass exodus of players due to wages not being paid and other, well-documented off the field issues.
He said that he is excited about the formation of a new club, but was keen to point out that the hard work is only now beginning.
“We have to try and get in the best players that we can and produce players, that’s the main thing. I’m really excited by the prospect, particularly with identifying the coaches we are bringing in.
“We have to maximise our efforts now in getting the best coaches and developing our players properly. In fairness, the players have come through in the past and we will look to continue that and even improve on it.”