Wide-open First Division race excites new Drogheda United boss Clancy
The absence of a clear favourite has added intrigue to the First Division season which kicks off tonight.
The big-budgets of Limerick and Waterford have won the past two renewals, but the increase from eight to 10 teams - after three sides came down from the top flight - has set up an extremely competitive campaign.
New Drogheda United manager Tim Clancy is preparing for his first season in the dug-out after spending last term playing with Bray.
The 33-year-old expects an open race, with the fact that the teams that finish second, third and fourth have another chance to go up through the play-offs providing further hope.
"For the last two years everybody in the country knew who was going to win the First Division," said Clancy, on the new LOI Weekly Podcast.
"I don't think there's a stand-out team who you could say, right now, 'they're going to win it'.
Clancy did give a strong mention to the two other sides that came down with Drogheda. He expects Galway to be strong after the addition of Ryan Connolly and their commitment to staying full-time.
He also expects big things from the Finn Harps side that visit United Park tonight. But he is happy with his own business after retaining several key men, most notably defender Conor Kane who he expects to be the subject of UK interest.
To listen to the full First Division preview, go to independent.ie/podcasts