Long standing Limerick District League club Ballynanty Rovers have agreed a deal with the LEDP (Limerick Enterprise Development Partnership) to play their home matches at the Markets Field from next Sunday until the end of January 2018.
Ballynanty were founded in 1955 and currently ply their trade in the Limerick District League Premier Division. The club sit third in the league, seven points behind leaders Janesboro with a game in hand. Furthermore, the northside club are enjoying a good season with last week’s victory over Janesboro in the Touhy Cup.
Ballynanty chairman Ger Doherty says it is a great opportunity for the club and something they are very much looking forward to.
“It’s an absolute brilliant opportunity for our players and our club to play in such a high profile venue as the Markets Field and we can’t wait as a club to get up there. We would also like to thank the LEDP and George Lee for assisting us in making this happen.”
Ballynanty’s squad boasts many ex-League of Ireland players, most notably Shaun Kelly, Jason Hughes and Bobby Ryan. Joel Constrain has currently returned from Scotland where he was with Raith Rovers and has signed for the club. Coach Declan Considine played for Limerick FC during the 1990’s and has won many honours with Pike Rovers both as a player and manager at Junior level.
Shaun Kelly might have though he would have played his last game at the Markets Field but O’Doherty says he is not the only member of the current squad with experience at the ground.
“He’s back (Kelly) in the Markets Field and he will be a great help. He probably knows every blade of grass up there. We also have Clyde O’Connell that would have played with Limerick U19s up there so it’s a bit of experience for the lads that have played up there but they are all looking forward to it.”
It is a massive opportunity for the club as the Markets Field was voted the best playing surface in the Airtricity League in 2016. With the Airtricity League season coming to a close on Friday night for four months, an opportunity arose for the club to play their home games at the venue.
Manager Tom Daly will be hoping that the immaculate surface will help to challenge for the League as well as the FAI Cup this season.
Stadium manager George Lee welcomed the move:
“We are delighted to support junior soccer in Limerick as part of our community remit and are looking forward to Ballynanty as well as players and supporters other clubs across the city playing at the Markets Field over the next few months.”
Ballynanty take on Regional in their first game at the Markets Field this Sunday morning October 29th at 11am.