Limerick to take refuge at Thomond Park
Limerick football club is on the verge of confirming it will play its Premier Division games at Thomond Park next year according to Airtricity League director Fran Gavin who says plans for the move are at an advanced stage.
“It’s not finalised but it’s certainly progressing,” said Gavin yesterday. “It’s looking more likely. I think it’s been agreed in principle, we’re just looking at the implications for the fixture list.”
Clashes with rugby matches at the stadium would mean Limerick having to switch from their preferred Friday night time slot for staging games but Gavin appears confident that any potential problems can be sorted out.
The club is currently working on re-establishing itself for the longer term at the Markets Field but considerable work still needs to be completed at the site and so the expectation that Thomond would be used for one season.
Airtricity are to remain the title sponsors of the league for at least the next two seasons with the company increasing their sponsorship so as to become “official energy partner” of the FAI as well.
“It’s an expanded sponsorship,” says Gavin, “and on the back of that they’ll make more of a connection with the international side of things.
“From our point of view, they’ve been great to work with and we’re looking forward to working with them for another couple of years.”
Attendances at last season’s Premier Division games, he added, were up from an average of 1,461 to 1,621 with Shamrock Rovers, Sligo Rovers and Cork City – in that order – the three best supported clubs.
Meanwhile, Stephen Kenny has been confirmed as the new manager of Dundalk, a position he previously turned down during his time with Derry City.
The 41-year-old Kenny has enjoyed success during his 15-year management career with the likes of Longford Town, Bohemians and Derry but the Dubliner has also had to endure a couple of significant setbacks, most notably at Dunfermline and Shamrock Rovers, who dismissed him after less than a season in charge
Former Bohemians, Shamrock Rovers and Monaghan United boss Roddy Collins is also back in management having agreed to take over at Athlone Town, a club he played for back in the 1980s.