Limerick are facing an exodus of playing talent as the club looks to cut its spending in the wake of well-documented financial difficulties.
There were reports yesterday that the club have agreed to mutually terminate eight contracts ahead of the July transfer window, with speculation mounting that the likes of Brendan Clarke, Daniel Kearns, Darren Dennehy, and Conor Clifford are on the way out.
On the pitch, second from bottom Limerick’s battle to retain their Premier Division status resumes this evening, with a visit to the Markets Field of a Bray side who, six points further behind, are propping up the table.
Elsewhere, fourth-placed Shamrock Rovers will be hoping to pick up where they left off at home to Derry City (8pm).
“We won two before the break, so it’s a chance for us to go and win another game,” says coach Stephen Bradley. “They will come and play, as they always do, and if we start like we did in Limerick we will get beaten, because we were terrible. We need to play like we did in the second-half against Limerick and reach those levels.” Both sides in the Dublin derby between Bohemians and St Patrick’s Athletic could badly do with the points when they meet at Dalymount Park.
“The break has maybe come at a good time for St Pat’s as they’d lost five in a row,” says Bohs boss Keith Long. “But we can only focus on ourselves. We know we have to be better on the pitch. But everyone is back looking forward to that challenge. They’re chomping at the bit.”
For Liam Buckley, the urgent goal in what has already been a rollercoaster season for Pat’s, is for his team take the first step in putting their latest slump behind them.
“Since we have returned from the break, we have been working hard on doing the basics right because when we have managed to do that this season, we have picked up a lot of good results,” he says. “The players are raring to go for a Dublin derby that is always so competitive.”
Athlone Town v Wexford, Athlone Town Stadium; Cabinteely v Finn Harps, Stradbrook; Drogheda United v Cobh Ramblers, United Park; Galway United v Shelbourne, Eamonn Deacy Park and UCD v Longford Town, The UCD Bowl.