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No backing down from the Hoops

Limerick FC up against clock for licence

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Darragh Leahy

Darragh Leahy

SPORTSFILE

Darragh Leahy

Shamrock Rovers say they are "resolute" in their plans to field a second team in the SSE Airtricity League First Division next season despite opposition from clubs in both divisions.

And Limerick FC will this week be asked by the FAI to provide proof of the promised cash injection of €500,000 from foreign investors, cash needed to give the club even a slim chance of competing in senior soccer in 2020 after they were effectively booted out of the league at the end of last season due to their financial plight.

Shamrock Rovers II have - for now - replaced Limerick FC in the second tier for the 2020 season, a second team from the Hoops admitted by the FAI in a revival of the Shamrock Rovers 'B' project which lasted for just one season in 2014.

And they are due to kick off the new campaign away to Longford Town next month.

But the nine-strong First Division Alliance have again stated their opposition to the Rovers II idea, claiming to have backing of their position from top-flight clubs.

They insist that if Rovers do not not back down from the 'B' team plan, and if all clubs are not then afforded a vote on the matter, those clubs will refuse to play against Rovers.

But the Dublin club remains steadfast.

"There is not a chance of us backing down," a Rovers source says.

"If clubs refuse to play against Shamrock Rovers II they will have points taken away and be fined by the FAI as the rules dictate, we have done everything by the rule book."

Limerick FC have not abandoned hope of competing in the division and, following a High Court appearance on Friday over the issue, the FAI said the club could apply for a licence to play in the 2020 season.

Club owner Pat O'Sullivan says he has a promise of investment from abroad to keep Limerick FC in business, but he faces a race against time to complete a licence submission.

Meanwhile, new signing Darragh Leahy is eager to see how his Dundalk side copes against top-class opposition during a pre-season training camp in Spain this week.

"It's going to be a good week. I am looking forward to it. It's always good to get away and it will be good to be with the lads for a week of work," former Bohemians man Leahy said ahead of today's departure to Spain.

"We have CSKA Moscow and Cluj to play as well, who are top-class European opposition, so they are something to look forward to. It'll be tough but hopefully it will be good preparation going forward."