Former Limerick FC captain Shane Duggan announced that he would be signing for Airtricity League First Division club Galway United for the 2020 season over the weekend. The Tribesmen will become Duggan’s fourth Airtricity League club in his career along with Cork City, Waterford FC and of course Limerick FC.
Duggan says that the move was organised very quickly and he is excited by the prospect of joining up with his new manager and team-mates. The midfielder will also be re-united with former team-mates Killian Brouder and Jack Lynch ahead of the new season. The former Cork City man says that it will make the transition easier to have two familiar faces at the club already.
“It all came about pretty fast. Alan Murphy (Galway manager) was in touch with me as soon as the season finished. I had a meeting with him and we discussed ideas and plans that he had in store for the coming season with Galway.
“I got excited by the plans he had in store and what direction he wants the club to go in. I wanted to be a part of that and luckily enough we got the deal done.
“I played with the two lads (Brouder and Lynch) when they were in Limerick too. It looks like they are signing back again this season. It’s good to have two Limerick lads on board as well.”
At 30 years of age, Duggan is adamant that he wants to return to the Airtricity League Premier Division as soon as possible and in order to do that, Galway must be promoted. Duggan is desperate to add a third first division title to his name, having achieved the feat with both Cork and Limerick in the past.
“I said that I don’t want to be signing for Galway to be stuck down in the first division. No disrespect to the First Division but I have ambitions to go back playing in the Premier Division.
The aim is to get Galway promoted next year and hopefully we can have a big season and achieve that. I’d love to play in the Premier Division again whether it be with Galway or another club but the plan is to get promoted straight away.”
Galway had a great finish to the Airtricty League season, including defeating Limerick 3-2 in the league and reaching the FAI Cup quarter final where they were narrowly beaten by Shamrock Rovers. The former Fairview Rangers youth player is hoping the club can carry that momentum into the new season.
“Speaking to the manager, he has been telling me about the talent of the younger lads coming through which will be exciting as well, particularly for myself as I can pass on a little bit of experience to the youngers lads.
They had a fantastic finish to the season and they beat Cork City in the FAI Cup also. Hopefully we can carry that momentum into next season and we could have another one or two signings soon which would help.”
As previously mentioned, Shane is swapping life at Waterford for Galway and signalled that less travel time was one of the main reasons for the move. He admits that it was the only downside to his time on Suirside, which he thoroughly enjoyed otherwise.
“It was a great experience to be honest. I’m not quite sure what direction they (Waterford) are going to take next season and whether they are going to cut the budget. I loved every minute of it but the travelling was probably the only downfall of the experience.
There was nobody else from Limerick or around that route going to Waterford. I was travelling up and down by myself which was a long enough spin. That was the only downfall because footballing wise, I really enjoyed it and it is a great club with unbelievable facilities and hopefully they can do well next season.”
Despite joining a new club, Duggan is worried for the future of senior soccer in his home town and for a club that he captained for four full seasons after returning in 2013. Although he is holding out some hope that he will be facing the club in the first division next season.
“I think that is the most worrying thing at Limerick. We don’t know whether there will be a club there next season. For a city the size of Limerick, that would be an absolute shame, especially with the tradition the club has had.
It’s a massive city for football and everybody loves soccer in the region. It would be a big shame if they didn’t get a licence to go into the league next season but hopefully they do, whether somebody is going to step in and take over or the current club get a new licence. I just hope there will be a Limerick FC there next season.”
When asked if the Limerick native, whose father Gerry was part of the most successful Limerick sides of the 1980’s, would return to the club if the current problems were sorted, Duggan smiled and said, “You’d never know, you never know in football.”