Limerick's Jack Brady relishing FAI Cup crack at Sligo after a difficult year on ShannonsideFri, Aug 23 2019
They say a week is a long time in football, and clearly, a month is a very long time as First Division Limerick have found out this year.
Until the defeat versus Cobh Ramblers in July, the Super Blues were motoring along quite nicely – with an unlikely playoff berth appearing not too far away for Tommy Barrett’s side.
However, much has changed since then. Now ten points off fourth placed Cabinteely with just three games to play, all Limerick have left to play for is the FAI Cup.
Jack Brady, a major part of all things positive about the Super Blues this year, admits that the cup does provide a chance for the Shannonsiders to salvage their season.
“I think to get to this stage of the cup has given the players a boost,” Brady told extratime.ie.
“Being put out of the promotion race was a hard one to take but the cup gives us a chance to give both the club and supporters a lift and a bit of hope.
“We have to be really proud of what we have achieved with our attitude. I think playing in the FAI Cup this weekend is just reward for the type of character and players we have.
“I don’t see why we can’t go to Sligo and turn over a really good and in-form Premier Division side, that’s all in the magic of the cup.
“Whatever team I’ve played in, I’ve always believed that we could win an have a good game and perform well because if you don’t, you’ll be right up against it against quality opposition.
“You need to believe that you are a quality player yourself and when you have that experience of winning big cup games and turning over the favourites being the underdog.”
With the way their season has ultimately unravelled in recent weeks, the 22-year-old shot-stopper admits disappointment with how things have played out.
“Up to about three or four weeks ago we were right in the promotion race and it was unfortunate how it has happened.
“In fairness, it couldn’t last forever and the bubble kind of burst when we lost to Cobh and Drogheda unfortunately.
“When you’re out of the promotion race, it’s very difficult for players to motivate themselves and to perform to the best of their ability when you’ve nothing to play for, especially when players have been treated quite poorly.
“That’s just the way it is unfortunately, but personally for me it’s been about putting in the best performances that I can for this club, professionals and the manager who have all stayed to try and stick it out until the end of the season.”
The former Longford Town ‘keeper added; “The senior pros who have remained at the club are here because they want to be here. It’s not for any other reason than that.
“I think we’ve been a credit to ourselves to get to the next round of the cup and perform so well in the league.
“We’ve players like Shaun Kelly, Robbie Williams, Jason Hughes and Shane Tracy that all have stayed, especially for players like me who have got a full season under my belt.
“They’ve been a massive help for me as a professional this year.”
With a club shrouded in negativity, crowds have naturally dipped at Markets Field, but support remains for the Super Blues young side as explained by the former Tipperary minor footballer.
“Certain fans have stopped coming out and supporting the club, but they’ve been adamant that they’ve been supporting this group of players we have which I think is very interesting.
“They’ve been very supportive of us at both home and away games, the group that do come to games.
“I can understand why supporters don’t want to support the club but there is a massive following for this team.
“They’ve followed us up and down the country all year despite all the financial issues that have come to the fore.
“Despite all that, they’ve come out in good numbers away from home and they’ve let us know and I think they’re the kind of people that will keep this club going, when we’ve all moved on as well.”
With plenty of interest in his services already and having stayed loyal to Limerick this year despite all the off-pitch difficulties – Brady is unsure of what comes next for him at this stage of his career.
“To be honest, I had a few offers over the summer, but I wanted to stay loyal to Limerick,” Brady said.
“Tommy Barrett and the club gave me a chance this year when I started the season as number one and I wanted to repay him, and I’d like to go out and publicly thank him for that.
“On the other side, it’s nice because I’ve had a good season. You never know what may happen.
“I still have to complete my masters in Limerick with teaching so up until January I’ll definitely be based in Limerick and whatever happens next season happens next season.
“For now, I’ve been trying to focus on getting a good result against Sligo and playing the best I can for the remaining three league games.
“It’s all well and good talking about next season but these are the games where you put yourself in the shop window for next year.”