With many expecting Treaty United to be confirmed as the final team to compete in the 2021 Airtricity League First Division in the coming weeks, it would be easy to forget that another soccer entity in the city are also awaiting the results of the licensing application process.
Limerick FC have applied for an Airtricity League underage license with the hope that the former senior soccer representative in the city will have U-14, 15, 17 and 19’s teams competing in 2021.When speaking to Sporting Limerick this week, club owner Pat O’Sullivan revealed that they had to fight to retain the academy last year.
“We have fought really hard to keep our academy. We have retained our academy having gone to the High Court to an appeal process and to an arbitration process which took us a year. But we still did it in order to keep the young lads playing. At the time, the academy had been given to Treaty but we objected to that and won our case.”
Contrary to popular belief, Limerick FC did not apply for a first division license to return to senior soccer this year. O’Sullivan cited an “ongoing investigation” as the central reason for the club’s decision not to apply for a senior license. However, the long-time owner has re-iterated the club’s desire to return to senior soccer once the investigation is complete.
When pushed on what his future plans were for the club in senior football, O’Sullivan was unable to say whether Limerick FC had secured a stadium to host home matches but insists all the focus will be put into the academy with the ambition to field a senior team in 2022.
Firstly, we are in the process of wanting to have our academy and our four teams. Number one, we will re-construct our academy. Remember, we lost 59 players last year and not one of them kicked a ball in national league soccer.
We were at a point for the first time in the history of Limerick that we could have put out an all local team developed by our academy in 2020 but that was taken away from us by other people. We want all those four teams back this year and from then we will build a team that will be very competitive in the first division in 2022.”