Season 2018/19 ready to go!
That was quick! Just as we are getting used to having so much free time, the 2018/19 Junior Soccer Season is upon us.
With some teams three or four weeks into their training regime, some players barely had any break at all so it remains to be seen how fresh this season’s crop emerge come kick off time.
In my enquiries into how things stand within the clubs, the same theme keeps cropping up again and again…..Money!
What seems to be an age old problem appears to be getting worse.
A couple of Managers have told me that virtually every player they ask to sign is enquiring “how much”?
People are complaining that the Authorities should be doing something about it but a problem that has been in existence since the 70’s will not be easy to address. In the majority of cases where players are being remunerated it is being done separate to the Club, with some wealthy benefactors picking up the tab. Many clubs are glad to turn a blind eye to this practice which removes them from any liability. Clubs are entitled to pay out expenses to players so opening another grey area.
It is frustrating, especially for the Clubs who choose to stick to their principles. However it is now part of our game whether we like it or not and we need to accept it and move on.
One thing is certain; fielding paid with unpaid players on the same side will do little for team morale in the long run.
What we know so far….
Janesboro retain the successful management team of Shane O’Hanlon, Aidan Ryan and Percy Ryan as they attempt to make it three in a row Premier titles.
They will have to do so without the services of John Tierney who has opted to help out his local side Knockainey. Aaron Nunan, Kevin Murphy and Donie Curtin have also parted ways with the Champions but they bring in Jeffery Judge, James McGrath and keeper James O’Connor while Thomas Lyons and Eddie Brazier also return to the fold.
Last year’s runners up Pike Rvs will again be led by Mike Shiel with assistance from Brian O’Callaghan, Keith Higgins and James Doran. Following appearances in the finals of FAI and MFA Cups last season, the Hoops will be hoping to repeat the feat this time out and improve on their 50% success rate.
They have added significantly to the squad with Conor Kavanagh returning to the Club, Stephen Keeley and Darragh Rainsford also signed on the dotted line. Dave Ryan and Cian Power will be missing from last season’s line up.
Ballynanty Rvs under new manager Donal Magee have settled with the bulk of last season’s squad to do the business. They did add a few players including Premier League winner Aaron Nunan, along with Craig McMarlow, Ryan Earls and Moyross duo Shane Guerin and Keith Colbert.
Carew Park under the guidance of Albert Slattery and Denis Griffin have lost Darragh Rainsford but compensate with the capture of Moyross goal getter Barry Quinn.
Aisling Annacotty with a new management team of Mike Aherne and Eddie Hickey have been busy in the close season. Brian O’Sullivan from Killlarney Athletic gives them cover for goalkeeper. Aaron Murphy, Nathan O’Callaghan and James Cleary from Summerville will be joined by former Nenagh players Dylan Sheehan, Steve Daly and Ben Banaghan. An injury to Damien Collins is a blow but a host of upcoming youth talent makes for exciting times.
Regional Utd will be guided by Tom O’Connell and Shane O’Donoghue and will have some new blood in the club most notably Ross Fitzgerald (Nenagh), Darren Butler, (Charleville) and former Limerick duo James Lynch and Clyde O’Connell.
Jason Purcell and Stewart Fitzgerald will lead the way at Fairview Rgs and must have been concerned with the loss of Jeffery Judge and Conor Kavanagh but shrewd signings of goalkeeper Barry Ryan and former striker Paudie Quinn allayed fears.
Kilmallock will be run by Brian McCann and aided by Derek McCarthy and Darren Creagh. They will be strengthened by the return of Barry Sheedy and Anthony Punch and hopes are high Rob Egan may also be back.
Charleville under new manager Clement Hehir will have most of the squad from last season and they will be hoping to push on from a nervous start to their Premier life.
Nenagh will be managed by Martin Donnelly assisted by Dearan O’Gorman, Tommy Martin, Cozminn Coz and Barry Fitzachery and they begin with eight defections from the squad.
The Tipperary side are pragmatic and are treating it as an opportunity to bring through some of their talented youngsters. Holding on to keeper Aaron Savage was a huge boost.
Newcomers Geraldines and Prospect will be looking for a good start as they strive to find their feet.
‘Dines have recruited well with Donie Curtin and George Daffy set to don the Candy stripes.
In their second season at the helm Derek Hannon, Bobby Tier, Christy O’Neill will be looking to build on last season’s start. Prospect picked up James Cleary from Moyross, Patrick Stanisewski from Aisling and Ian Maher from Summerville
Following on from the introduction of new rules regarding Data protection please note the following;
With your permission, I hope to continue posting pictures and videos for the coming season.
However if any Player, Supporter, Referee or Official wishes their image not to be displayed please send me a P.M. or phone 086-1945611 and I will endeavor to please.
If you are in any picture/Video that appears on the website and you want it removed please contact me and I will remove it.
There will be no games scheduled on Sunday August 19th to allow all the Junior Soccer community to lend their support to the Limerick hurlers in the All Ireland Final.
To compensate the Premier League will kick off a day earlier on Wednesday evening (Aug 15th) and games will be fixed as normal on the Saturday evening (Aug 18th).
Sunday November 4th will also see a free Sunday for all to cater for anyone wanting to attend the FAI Cup Final.
Shane Clarke left it to the last chance in the last game of the season to clinch the Premier League’s top goalscorer award with 44 goals, pipping his team mate Keith Mawdsley by one goal.
Eight goals in his last three games saw the Country’s top striker overturn a five goal lead held by his strike partner and makes it seven seasons in a row that Clarke tops the scoring charts in Limerick.
All but four of Clarke’s tally were against Premier opposition.
The final tally for all players to reach double figures reads as follows;
|Steve McGann||Pike Rovers||25|
|Kieran O’Connell||Regional Utd||21|
|Colin Daly||Pike Rovers||20|
|Ben Banaghan||Nenagh AFC||17|
|Kieran Hanlon||Carew Park||17|
|Eoin Hanrahan||Pike Rovers||16|
|Jonathan Grant||Carew Park||16|
|Kevin Nolan||Ballynanty Rovers||16|
|Ciaran O’Reilly||Nenagh AFC||15|
|Sosuke Kimura||Aisling Annacotty||13|
|Darragh Rainsford||Carew Park||12|
|Eddie Byrnes||Ballynanty Rovers||11|
|Jason Lipper||Aisling Annacotty||11|
|Christy Doyle||Fairview Rgs||10|
Saturday evening’s Lawson Cup final between Ballynanty Rvs and League champions Janesboro will bring the curtain down on a thoroughly enjoyable season.
Congratulations to all winners and participants who can now enjoy a well earned break.
While Janesboro’s retention of the Premier League and Pike Rvs exploits in the Munster and FAI Cups will attract most attention, there have been numerous stories of glory and enjoyment right through the 13 Divisions.
Hopefully Saturday’s game will be a fitting finale to the season.
Our Second Annual Awards Night proved a very successful event and once again thanks to all who made it possible.
Our Website “www.limerickjuniorsoccer.com” was attracting 80,000 hits per month as the season drew to a close and once again I am open to any suggestions to improve the service or “IT” advice to spruce things up.
As usual a big thank you to all the Club PRO’s and obliging players or officials that I drove crazy over the season. You patience and generosity is greatly appreciated.
Special thanks to Turlough McNamara who took me out of a hole numerous times over the course of the season.
Don’t forget Friday’s Schoolboy History Book Launch in the Janesboro Club. Sean Curtin, Buddy Brennan and Gerry McCormack have compiled a must have publication and deserve a good turnout.
Stay safe over the Summer and enjoy the rest.