KILLYBEGS native Shaun Kelly says he wants to sign a new contract with Limerick FC.
The 24-year old concludes the 2013 season with the Shannonsiders tonight, Friday, with an away trip to European-chasers Derry City.
Last week, Kelly was back in the Limerick side for the first time in seven games in a 1-0 win over Shelbourne at Thomond Park.
A three-game suspension saw the right-back lose his place, but ahead of tonight’s clash with Derry at the Brandywell, Kelly says that he’s keen to speak to manager Stuart Taylor with a view to penning a new deal with the club.
“I have to sit down with the Gaffer and speak soon; I’m looking to stay here,” Kelly, a former Dundalk and Galway United player, said.
“Limerick are the best up and coming club in the league. I don’t see why anyone wouldn’t want to be here.
“With the Derry game coming up, hopefully we’ll get three points, and you never know, next year we could push on. We’ll see what kind of signings the Gaffer makes and who he keeps and hopefully we can push on even further.”
Kelly signed for Limerick during the 2011 campaign and last season he was one of the mainstays as the Blues won the First Division.
Having missed almost two months of competitive action, Kelly had become frustrated until he was reinstated last week.
He said: “It was good to be back. “It was more like a pre-season coming back for me because I was out that long. The boys did so well when I was out, I had to bide my time and wait to get back in.
“I’m just glad to get back and get a 90 minutes, although, I’ll not lie, I felt it from playing my first 90 in a long time – my legs were feeling it a bit. Thankfully, we were 1-0 up so I didn’t have to push on too much towards the end.
“I think the Gaffer just wanted us to sit in as a back four and keep the 1-0 lead, which we did. I was delighted with the three points and the clean-sheet that came with it.”
“Shels had one or two chances but they didn’t take them. The main thing was getting the three points and sending the crowd home happy in the last home game of the season.
“I thought we controlled the match possession wise and the crowd must be happy with the way we played. I’m sure the Gaffer is as well, changing the team about and still getting the three points.”
With Tony Whitehead and Colm Murphy making impressive debuts in last week’s game, Kelly believes that the future is bright by the Shannon.
He said: “It’s great for the young lads who played. The Gaffer has put faith in the young lads this season.
“There are a lot of young lads coming through and the future looks good for Limerick.
“I think when people looked at the team before the game, with Shelbourne fighting for their lives, they probably thought it would be a tough game for us. But I thought we controlled it.
“I thought we looked good even though they had two or three better chances. But as I said, at the end of the day, we’ve got the three points and we’re delighted with that.
Remarkably, Limerick didn’t concede a goal at Thomond Park since the middle of August – and a win in Derry tonight may be good enough for a top-half finish in the table.
Limerick ended their home fixtures with three straight wins and clean-sheets at Thomond Park, with their last goal conceded there coming in the middle of August.
“I’m sure there are not too many other clubs that boast the same record,” he said. “I’m sure everyone is delighted with that.”
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