Former Limerick FC captain Shaun Kelly recently announced that he is moving back to Donegal following a long stint in the Treaty City. Kelly has become an adopted Limerick man as he has spent the majority of the last decade in the city and playing for the football club.
The Killybegs native feels that he has made the right decision by his family in moving back home.
“It all happened very quickly. My wife got a job up in Donegal and we weighed up the options. I spoke to Ollie (Horgan) a few months ago and he had said that he was interested in taking me to Harps. At that time we obviously weren’t interested because I was in a job in Limerick.
Over the Christmas period, everything changed and we have both sets of grandparents up there. Also, with three kids we weighed everything up and we went for it. We are in the process of moving up and in the next few weeks we are hoping to have everything sorted.”
Kelly says that there were plenty of ups and downs during his time with Limerick but fondly remembered winning the First Division on two occasions and admits he will miss the city.
“We will definitely miss Limerick and it is definitely a second home. We have a lot of friends down here so we will definitely be up and down. We had a lot of ups and downs at Limerick FC.
Obviously, winning the two First Division titles were the highlight and the run we went on where we nearly stayed up in 2015 was a great time at the club.
Hopefully, at some stage in the future, Limerick can get back there but at the minute I just have to concentrate on Finn Harps and getting fit as it has been a long time since I have played at Premier Division level.”
Finn Harps manager Ollie Horgan contacted Shaun about a possible move to the club he supported as a young boy and Kelly is delighted to have the opportunity to play at the highest level once again.
“I think any player wants to be playing at the highest level possible. Ollie (Horgan) has given me the chance to do that now and the onus is on me now to hit the ground running.
My first session was last night so I will be a few weeks before I am ready as the season kicks off in two weeks time. It’s a long season in the Premier Division and this year will be a tough season for us but if we can get off to a good start, you never know what can happen and I am looking forward to it.”
Kelly is fully aware of how tough the challenge is for his new side in the Airtricity League Premier Division but feels Harps have been written off before and proved people wrong.
“Every year, I have always kept an eye on Finn Harps results and most years they have been written off before a ball was kicked and Ollie did a great job in keeping them up. If we stay up it will be a very good season again. It’s still pre-season so we will be trying to keep everybody injury free for the next two weeks in the build up to the Sligo Rovers game.”
The right-back will be re-united with Glin native Karl O’Sullivan who signed for the Donegal outfit two weeks ago and Kelly praised Karl’s attitude and ability.
“Two years ago, Karl O’Sullivan came into the Limerick team and he was one of our best players that season. Ollie has seen what he can do and he was more happy to see me last night to mind him as I can be his translator!. Karl is a great kid and his work rate is great. He is really looking forward to it and has moved up to Donegal as well.”
The former Ballynanty Rovers man is hopeful that senior soccer can be resurrected in Limerick and feels the concentration has to be on youth now.
“It’s about the young kids now and developing them and the ladies teams. They need to sort the name out. I hope that the underage teams can go and push on. I hope it’s sorted sooner rather than later and they can finally kick on.”