Over the Christmas season, I wrote about the demise of Limerick FC. I also discussed the emergence of Limerick United who the week before last were granted a licence to compete in the national underage leagues and the senior women’s league. Their plan was then to look to enter a side in the SSE Airtricity League First Division in 2021.

But given the continuing popularity of zombies Limerick FC have shown that they are not dead yet! Their owner Pat O’Sullivan contested the decision made by the FAI not to let his side apply for a licence for 2020. Both parties went to the High Court and reached an agreement whereby Limerick FC will now be allowed to apply for a licence for the First Division for 2020.

Now whether are awarded one or not remains to be seen. Limerick FC then released a statement saying that they have secured funding of €500,000 to be invested over a period of three years. They are also looking to meet with Limerick United to discuss a potential merger. So this all leaves a lot of unanswered questions ahead of the start of the new season in a matter of weeks.

Given that a lot of clubs are unhappy about the introduction of Shamrock Rovers B with talk even that some might boycott their fixtures against the side. They will be interested to see how this plays out. What looked it might be a nine-team league then became a ten-team one and now a possibility that it could be an eleven team one. Things are never dull in football in Ireland.

So it has been against this background that sides have begun their pre-season campaign. Champions Dundalk enjoyed a comfortable 7-1 win against UCD in Oriel Park. Michael Duffy scored two for Dundalk with Patrick McEleney, Patrick Hoban, Georgie Kelly, Will Patching and Darragh Leahy getting the others. Colm Whelan scored for UCD.

Sligo Rovers and Galway United played out a 3-3 draw in Castlebar. Maurice Nugent, Timo Parthoens and Timmy Molloy scored for Galway. Garry Buckley, Ronan Coughlan and the busiest player in Ireland over the weekend ‘Trialist’ got the third! I can never understand in this day and age why clubs still persist in doing this.

As invariably the player’s name is found out through either social media or Football Manager. And it was the same in this instance. Jesse Devers was the player and he previously had spells with Finn Harps and Galway.