Limerick take on Waterford this Saturday night in Kilbreedy, looking for a first win of what’s been a disappointing Division 4 campaign. This game is rescheduled after all games were called off last weekend on account of Storm Emma. Last time out Limerick were comprehensively beaten by Leitrim in Carrick-on-Shannon and will be desperate to bounce back from the disappointing victory.
In a young Limerick side, there have been plenty of opportunities given to the next generation of Limerick footballers thus far in the League. Waterford are also without a win, and present Limerick with a perfect chance of gaining some momentum with three games to play in the League.
We caught up with Billy Lee to get his thoughts ahead of the refixed clash.
“It mightn’t have been the worst thing in the world to give lads a break away frim the events of the previous week where we had a very disappointing performance in Leitrim.”
“They found it difficult on the Wednesday night (at training) to come back in and totally understandable. We tailored it for the numbers that were there and for the result of the previous week and lads walked away with a bit of a pep in their step.”
“These lads are willing to learn, there’s none of the them looking for excuses to avoid training. They’re all turning up.”
“They’ve got character and there willing to go back in to the trenches and fight for the jersey.”
Limerick and Waterford occupy the bottom two spots in the National League, with the sides picking up a meagre two points between them. However, with three games to go, there is still time to make something of the campaign, with championship looming. Billy Lee, is confident that the experience that these palyers are gaining through the League will soon begin to pay dividends.
“It will be difficult for the losers to drive on again. But, I keep saying we have to do that, hiding won’t achieve anything.”
“There’s a lot of talent in this bunch. They are young. They are trying got build themselves physically and mentally at this level and get fitter for the intensity of intercounty and that’s the journey they’re on.”
“We have to keep on working, helping them, assessing them and developing them to get there.”
“And they will get there because there are some very good footballers, within the current Limerick set-up.”
The implementing of the Academy structure in the county is beginning to bear fruits with many of these current players, playing with each other coming up through the ranks. Lee, has asked for patience with this youthful side, focusing in on their spirit and willingness to learn and grow from their experience.
“Having character and spirit in a group defines individuals. You’re not going to win everything.”
“It takes time to build, there’s a lot of work going on at the ground. It started four years ago with the Academy.”
“If I took our backs against Leitrim, there’s two 23-year-olds, three 21-year-olds and a 20-year-old. That’s the age profile you have. As they get older into their mid-twenties and strive to get better, the improvements will come.”
“As I keep saying, these are good footballers. They’re light, (But) they’re getting their bodies up to the pace of county football. That mental understanding of where the game is at and how you bounce and how you get challenged by a fella who’s on top of you on a given day, how you handle that.
We’ll help them and continue that journey with them.”
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