Promotion favourites Bray Wanderers play host to newly formed Treaty United in their inaugural League of Ireland match at the Carlisle Grounds tomorrow afternoon (kick-off 3pm).
The Seagulls will go into their 37th campaign in the League of Ireland among the fancied sides to push for promotion to the top flight and will be hoping for nothing less than a home win against the league’s new boys Treaty United.
Gary’s Cronin’s squad had mixed fortunes during their pre-season matches having managed to only register one win in five matches with a 4-1 thrashing of Drogheda United at United Park but lost narrowly 2-1 to Bohemians at Dalymount Park.
They drew 3-3 against the Premier Division champions Shamrock Rovers at Tallaght Stadium, 0-0 against Derry City at the Carlisle Grounds and 3-3 against UCD at the UCD Bowl.
The Seagulls have bolstered their squad significantly in the off-season with the addition of nine new faces.
Gary Cronin has enhanced his selection options with a blend of youth and experience having recruited Mark Byrne from Shelbourne and Conor Clifford from Derry City, Richie O’Farrell from Drogheda, Steven Kinsella from Cabinteely, Sean Callan, Kian Clarke and Brandon Kavanagh (on loan) from Shamrock Rovers, Andrew Quinn (on loan) from Dundalk and Darren Craven who captained Malahide United to the Leinster Senior League title last season.
Gary Cronin has a fully fit squad from which to select from.
Limerick’s newest representatives in senior League of Ireland football will make their SSE Airtricity First Division debut with a long trip to the east coast with hopes of upsetting their illustrious hosts by taking all three points back to the mid-west with them.
Tommy Barrett will once again take the reins of the Limerick outfit having previously been at the helm during Limerick FC’s infamous demise in the 2019 season.
The Treaty City side enjoyed an unbeaten pre-season having held Premier Division outfit Waterford 1-1 at the Regional Sports Centre in their first ever senior match with Joel Coustrain putting himself in the history books with their first ever goal.
Treaty United followed that up with back to back matches against fellow First Division opponents Athlone Town.
The first match ended in a 0-0 stalemate at the Athlone Town Stadium with the Limerick side edging it 2-1 at the Market’s Field last weekend with Sean McSweeney and Clyde O’Connell getting the goals.
Barrett has recruited wisely by bringing in experienced goalkeepers Tadhg Ryan who has played with Huddersfield, Waterford, Cork City and Galway United, and Jack Lynch, son of former Limerick and Waterford gaffer Tommy Lynch, who had spells with Waterford and Galway.
In addition, Marc Ludden and Conor Melody arrived from Galway United along with Joel Coustrain who has played in England and Scotland as well as lining out for Shamrock Rovers, Cork City and Athlone Town.
Treaty United also have a number of rookies who are hot prospects for the future in the form of Matt Keane from Killarney Celtic, and Callum McNamara from Newmarket.
Tommy Barrett has no injury concerns ahead of the trip to Bray but will have to make do without Clyde O’Connell who will be serving out a one match suspension.
Referee: Oliver Moran
The sides have never met previously as this is Treaty United’s debut season in the SSE Airtricity First Division.
Bray Wanderers 4/7; Draw 14/5; Treaty United 4/1.
Bray Wanderers 2-1 Treaty United
Suspended: Clyde O’Connell
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