Sunday 11 December 2016

Buckley welcomes Limerick trip

Published 14/09/2016 | 02:30

Liam Buckley. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
Liam Buckley. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Liam Buckley is relishing the prospect of playing in front of a full house for Saturday's EA Sports Cup final, despite their opponents Limerick having home advantage.

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St Pat's faced a similar challenge in last year's decider when they edged Galway in a shoot-out but Saints' manager believes that it will help boost the profile of the competition and in turn, the League of Ireland.

The Market's Field is nearing a sell-out, with the locals eager to see their side cap a brilliant season and while that presents its own challenges for the holders, Pat's have done it all before.

"There will be 4,000 down there at the weekend and it might bring them back out for Limerick next year for their home games," Buckley said.

"It does help the league that bit more. I'd like our own place to be full as well. If we could get them all full it would be great. But they will be a welcome addition back to the Premier Division, that's for sure."

Buckley will go up against his former assistant Martin Russell who has so far guided Limerick through an unbeaten league title-winning campaign but the Shannonsiders did come unstuck against Pat's in last month's FAI Cup meeting in Inchicore.

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"I have worked with Martin with us, his style would be fairly open and he'd want them to play. I'd be like that myself but you have to make sure all your players do that," Buckley maintained.

"With us this year, we've been a little bit . . . not where we have been in recent seasons.

"It will be tricky, I have no doubt they see themselves as having a chance and equally we are going down there to win.

"It's a credit to Martin and the group that they have. It's been a fantastic season.

"The only blip they had was a few weeks ago in the FAI Cup, hopefully they'll have a second blip on Saturday."

Irish Independent

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