Limerick WFC manager David Rooney remained a positive figure despite his sides heavy six-nil defeat to Shelbourne Ladies on Sunday in Hogan Park.

The game saw Limerick bring a close to their home games in their inaugural season in the Continental Tyres Women's National League, one which Rooney believes has been majorly affected by his side’s departure from the Markets Field in August.

With just the one game left, a trip to Galway next Sunday, the Shannonsiders have found life difficult in the league since joining earlier this year, following such a bright start against fellow strugglers Kilkenny United back in March.

Despite this, an upbeat Rooney reiterated his desire to the get the ball rolling for next season and said that many lessons have been learnt this season, both on and off the pitch.

“Every player in the squad now has a full season of national league football under their belt and that’s a positive,” he said.

“We can’t wait for pre-season next year to start again.

“We really need to focus on what we are doing and see can we hit the ground running.

“We are already looking to bring in a few [players] next year and see if we can get a few experienced heads in,” added the optimistic Dubliner.

Following Limerick FC’s highly publicised off-field issues in the summer, Rooney’s young guns were forced to up sticks from the Markets Field and avail of facilities at nearby Hogan Park, a debacle that has left a bitter taste in the mouth of the women’s team manager.

“It is not sustainable to keep women’s football in Hogan Park,” said a frustrated Rooney. “We definitely need to look at a home venue that we are going to have for the year.”

“If you have a look at the results, the loss of Markets Field was huge. For the girls it was their identity.

“Obviously things have changed during the year and financially if the men’s team go down to the First Division they will go part-time, so where will girls’ football in Limerick FC end up?,” added the concerned Limerick WFC manager.

With this in mind, Rooney emphasised the importance of Limerick’s upcoming relegation/promotion play-off and the impact a negative result will have on the project to develop women’s football on Shannonside.

“For the whole club, the result against Finn Harps next week has a huge bearing,” he stated.

“It shouldn’t really have anything to do with women’s football but unfortunately it will have a bearing on where we go.
“Hopefully the boys can get that one done but, if not, the future looks bleak.

“If can keep this side going for another couple of years these girls will come of age.

“We just need to keep senior football here,” added the former Nenagh FC manager.

Looking back on the near completion of his first season as Limerick manager, Rooney turned his focus to a difficult campaign which saw his team finish second from bottom, a learning curve that had its many ups and downs.

“It is a really hard and long season and when results aren’t going your way you get girls starting to question is it worth it.

“It has been a really disappointing end to the season.

“Mentally it is tough for them [Limerick players] to stay going.

“Against Peamount last week we took an almighty beating.

“We’ve been missing players and a few injuries of our experienced players so we’ve been going with a few young players.

“They [younger players] have had a great season with the under-17s but they are coming into this [the senior squad] and it is tough.

“I am trying to get them to look at the season as a whole and there are positives to come out of it.

“When Wexford started they would have struggled in their first year.”

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