Pa Ranahan: 'Limerick football is moving in the right direction'
By Matthew Hurley
Former Limerick defender Pa Ranahan feels Limerick football is moving in the right direction after a stellar League campaign.
Ranahan (who was part of the team that reached their last Munster Final in 2010) feels that there were positive signs for Billy Lee in the last few weeks.
“I know Billy Lee the manager and the lads would have definitely set out the stall for maintaining their status (in Division 3) and beating Tipperary in the first match was huge, especially after losing to them the way they played last year in the Munster Semi-Finals, so that really set up the whole league.,” he said.
“With COVID and everything traveling isn't easy like, so they made it look easy, but it certainly isn’t, and it was a massive win for the group really I suppose the Derry match was like a bonus game.
“Overall, I'd say very happy just speaking to a few lads who are involved like, very happy with the way the league's been and heading into next year because it's a young group,” he added.
He argued that the Treaty are now in a brilliant position going into the game against Waterford on Saturday, and that is down to star players staying around the panel.
“This year now you probably have 95% of the lads that you want playing in Limerick playing football. It is very hard for a coaching team to turn around at the end of every year and have to work with 10/12/15 new lads and try and implement something again having worked all year towards it.
“As the last two years have shown when you get a panel together to commit to it, you can actually build something.
“Whether they win or lose, the performance is usually there at the minute, which is crucial really for going anywhere because we've all been teams where you win one day and then you turn up the next day and you completely flop”.
Danny Neville, Iain Corbett and Cillian Fahy have got most of the plaudits from Limerick’s performances, but Ranahan thinks we should be looking out for another big player on the team on Saturday.
“When John Galvin left a scene there was a kind of a gap for a few years about this (the midfield position). Who's going to be the ball winning midfielder?
“Now Tommy (Childs) has kind of stepped into that role at times, he's definitely one who's kind of if you want to ball down on top of him for Limerick, he is more than happy and if the opposition keeper is willing to put the ball on top of him, he only loves that as well.”
“He's one of those fellas that when he does something good, (he) kind of lights up the whole thing because of the way he does it,” he argued.
Limerick have been drawn on the so-called ‘easy’ side of the draw, and Ranahan thinks there is a chance to cause a few upsets.
Yeah of course (Limerick can reach the Munster Final), the same way there’s potential to turn up on Saturday and lose. If were to say that 3 years ago, you’d probably say wishful thinking, but now it’s kind of head over heart,” Ranahan said.
“Definitely won’t be taking them (Waterford) lightly, if they get over that, you’re facing into a Cork team who aren’t where they want to be at the minute.
“It (potential tie v Cork) is on in Limerick, they’d be familiar with the surroundings, confidence after the league, a championship game under their belt, against a Cork who wouldn’t have played for a few weeks.
“You’re not going to get too much better opportunities (to get to a Final). If it comes down to it (Limerick v Cork), Limerick will have to play outstanding to win, but it’s not without chance.”