Hometown hero Shane Tracy has committed to playing an 11th consecutive season at Limerick FC after signing a new one-year deal with the Shannonsiders. The left-back was awarded a testimonial last year as he had given ten years service to the club. There had been rumours circulating that Tracy would leave at the end of last season but the former Wembley Rovers schoolboy announced the deal on Saturday evening. The left-back continues his long association with the club which began in 2007. The club has won two first division titles in that period.

Tracy had a slow start to last season as he was injured for the first four months of the return to the premier division. Sunderland loanee Tommy Robson was brought in as a replacement. Dave O’Connor was Neil McDonald’s first choice left-back at the beginning of his reign, but Tracy regained his place for an FAI Cup quarter-final clash with Galway United and never looked back. McDonald was delighted with Tracy’s decision and was full of praise when asked about the re-signing.

“Shane has been a credit to himself and his family, representing Limerick for over ten years. He had a well-deserved Testimonial. Shane got himself back in the team by training really well, waiting for his chance and showing what he can do. We hope he can contribute more on the pitch next season than this year, but that is up to him. His attitude has been top-class and it’s great to have a Limerick player through and through in the squad.”

Tracy contributed a vital goal in the victory over champions Cork City as well as two solid performances against the Leesiders in both league and cup. Commenting on his decision, Shane was clearly motivated by the challenge of remaining as first choice left-back and helping Limerick to improve on last year’s league finish.

“It feels good to be back for another year. It will be my objective to play week in, week out – I wouldn’t have signed if I felt I couldn’t keep going and keep competing. I’ve been like that throughout my career – I want to compete, and next year will be no different.”

Due to his longevity and commitment to the cause, many people appear to have written the left-back off in recent times. However, at just 29 years old, he clearly feels he has plenty to offer the club. Although he did consider retirement from professional football due to work commitments, it wasn’t long before he re-considered his position.

“I’m working full-time too, so I had to take everything into consideration. I was always more in favour of re-signing,”

Tracy is aware of the challenge which lies ahead of his team. With Waterford being promoted with the backing of Lee Power and the re-structuring of the league to ten teams, Shane feels it will be ultra-competitive.

“Last year, you could see the quality of the teams in the league and it will be even more competitive next season with Waterford coming up – they have investment behind them, which always helps in this league. But that’s what you want – you want to be playing against the better teams and in better stadiums, and you want to push yourself as much as possible.”

Tracy’s re-signing was announced as Limerick welcomed new arrival Danny Morrissey from Finn Harps as Neil McDonald continues to bolster his squad ahead of the 2018 season. Morrisey joins fellow new signing Cian Coleman with both having connections to Cork City.

Shane Tracy joins Brendan Clarke, Freddy Hall, Henry Cameron, Tony Whitehead, Cian Coleman, Danny Morrissey and Barry Cotter in the senior squad for next season with more new signings expected in the coming weeks.