The Shannonsiders have added quality to their ranks and are out in front as the team to beat in the First Division this seasonPREVIEW
By Brendan White
| ATHLONE TOWN
Kerley has held onto most of last season’s squad but has brought in some exciting junior league players to help move Athlone up the First Division table.
Peter Hutton will look to use his experience in the league to his team’s advantage.
Quality was added to over the pre-season with Stephen Bradley and Dominic Foley brought in to go alongside last season’s big name signings of Denis Behan and Joe Gamble.
With a squad of young and exciting talent, along with the experienced players, Limerick have a blend that would make most managers in the division jealous.
But with big names come big pressure. Winning the league and promotion to the Premier Division is the sole objective for Pat Scully, anything less will be unacceptable on Shannonside.
Alan Kirby’s return to Flancare Park is a huge boost for the club after a season in Sligo last year. Karl Bermingham and Collie James have both joined from Shelbourne’s promotion-winning squad last season and add more experience to the squad.
Tony Cousins looks to have a squad capable of going places and a promotion spot is certainly within their grasp.
The additions of Stephen Walsh, Gary Kelly and Alan Murphy from Galway United are great boosts to the squad as they look to progress in the League of Ireland.
Tony Mannion is the man in charge as the club switch their home games to Terryland Park following the exit of Galway United from the grounds.
Dempsey will look to spearhead the Blues to promotion and the midfielder has admitted that top flight football is the minimum objective for the club.
John Frost and Packie Holden also return to the club to add experience to a young Blues squad.
Sean Maguire looks to be the one the Blues fans will look to for inspiration after a recent trial at Sunderland saw the under-19 star grab a goal.
Goals were a problem for the team last season and manager Paul O’Brien needs a good start this term.
Keegan’s aim is promotion in a few years but a good start this season and anything can happen.
Holding on to striker Danny Furlong could be a masterstroke; his goals will be vital to any Youths progress.
The loss of three, including keeper Packie Holden, to neighbours Waterford United should add more rivalry when they meet on opening night in Ferrycarrig Park.
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