“It’s about wearing the jersey with pride, sticking to the plan and having a go”
That’s the message from Limerick football manager Billy Lee ahead of Saturday’s crucial qualifier clash with Wexford in the Gaelic Grounds.
Limerick go into the game on the back of 4 straight league wins and a resilient if not successful outing against Clare in the Munster Championship.
Wexford who were promoted from Division 4 along with Westmeath only managed a 0-14 to 1-8 win over Limerick in round 4 of the league campaign. Crucially the game was played at Innovate Wexford Park and Limerick were in the game right until the very end.
Lee feels that Limerick had a purple patch against Wexford in that league outing and just didn’t manage to capitalise fully on the opportunity.
“We started well that day, up 0-6 to 0-2 ahead and playing good football. Then they started playing with 11 or 12 men behind the ball, playing counter attacking football which was something we didn’t manage well on the day.”
While not getting the better of Wexford’s defensive system back in February, Limerick did cope better against defensive systems in the latter part of the league campaign, winning the last four games and ultimately finishing only two points off Wexford in the table.
Limerick have some good finishers up front, capable of taking chances but it is the unseen work when you don’t have the ball that Lee sees as being crucial to success at the weekend.
“This is a journey, we’re trying to get the lads to go that extra 10 or 15 percent, mainly when we don’t have the ball. Everyone has to play when we have the ball but it’s about doing the work when we don’t have the ball”
“Wearing the jersey with pride and representing our people as best we can which Limerick people love to see. If you do that, the crowd will get behind you, support you and back you to the hilt”
Regardless of the result on Saturday, Limerick football has made progress this year. They suffered no heavy defeats during the league and despite losing 3 games, they were extremely competitive in all three games.
Lee believes Limerick have learned a lot from the league campaign and is upbeat about his task of blending together a host of young players who have shown plenty promise at underage level.
“We’re certainly trying to build something with what’s probably a new group of players, that takes time, we cant rush them.
“Certainly a work in progress and hopefully we’ll progress that bit further this Saturday.”
It’s the last chance saloon for Limerick on Saturday and Lee is very much looking to inspire his players to have a go, take Wexford on and leave it all on the field. The kind of performance that the Limerick GAA following will certainly buy in to.
“It’s about putting your best foot forward, wearing the jersey with pride sticking to the plan and having a go”.
Limerick and Wexford throws in at 3pm at the Gaelic Grounds tomorrow with live radio commentary on Limerick’s Live95fm and twitter updates on SportingLK.
Best of Luck to Limerick!