Limerick hoping fans will turn out for start of life in Thomond
LIMERICK FC are optimistic of a reasonable turnout for their Thomond Park bow against Cork City tomorrow, although their expectations have been lowered by the move to a Sunday evening slot to accommodate television needs.
League of Ireland chief Fran Gavin indicated last week that organisers were hoping for a crowd of between 5,000 and 10,000 as Limerick begin life at the home of Munster rugby.
However, the club would be extremely happy if they reached the 5,000 mark, given the clash with an attractive afternoon of English soccer in addition to a GAA football and hurling leagues double-header at the Gaelic Grounds and the Six Nations.
The Shannonsiders have embarked on a promotion drive locally in order to attract bodies through the turnstiles and, in conjunction with Bus Eireann, they will run a shuttle service that will bring supporters from the centre of the city to Thomond.
Cork manager Thomas Dunne admits that the hosts are something of an unknown quantity, given that Scot Stuart Taylor has recruited a number of new faces to the League of Ireland.
The Leesiders have impressed in the early rounds of the Setanta Cup, and Dunne hopes to continue the momentum.
"Limerick will be a very strong outfit and I think they may be a surprise package for some people this season," said Dunne.
"We are looking forward to the game, and I hope it is a really good spectacle for everyone."
Taylor confirmed the addition of 20-year-old former Newcastle man Patrick Nzuzi earlier this week and has high hopes for the latest arrival, who can operate in both defence and midfield.
"He's a level-headed young lad and he has settled in amongst the rest of the squad," said Taylor. "He'll be an asset in terms of how we want to play.
"If we play the right way and everyone gives 100pc, the results will follow and we hope that's the case (tomorrow). The supporters are so important to us and what we want to do is provide a team that the whole midwest can be proud of."