StoppageTime.ie caught up with Limerick Desmond League manager Brian Barry ahead of his side’s second game in the Oscar Traynor Trophy against the Kerry League. Having picked up a point in a 0-0 draw in their first game against West Cork, this is a vital game for the inter-league side if they are to progress from the group.
How have you enjoyed this experience so far and what would you say are the main differences between managing a club and an inter-league side?
Brian: I have absolutely loved every minute of it. I know there was probably a few eyebrows raised when I got it but I am determined to do my very best to get this league back where it belongs, competing to win this competition. It’s been a lot of hard work but I expected that. It’s great to be able to work with so many talented players. It’s definitely a different ball game to club football. With a club you’re basically using the same pool of players week in week out, whereas with the inter league we have (at times) a different team each week. Thankfully we have a settled squad now and it’s a lot easier to work from that platform.
How happy are you with the squad thus far, do you think there will be an improvement from the previous game?
Brian: I am very happy with the squad we have. Naturally there is one or two more we hoped to have in the squad but injury work and holidays have ruled out a number of players. The group of lads we have are a great bunch though and are determined to put in a performance. We were disappointed with the West Cork result and I accept full responsibility for that. We set the team up too defensively. We are definitely going to give the Kerry game a right rattle and the team will be set up to attack from the off.
What was the mood in the camp after the draw against West Cork, how many points do you think that you will need to get out of the group?
Brian: As I touched on there, everyone was disappointed after the West Cork game. We wanted a win and we should have won, simple as that. But now we are more determined than ever to get a result. The lads are confident they can do it and the management team are also confident. Even though we are underdogs we believe we are capable of beating any team. I think four points from the next two games should be enough to see us through. Obviously the last match will be very tough. But we’re taking it one game at a time.
Any injuries or absentees we should know about?
Brian: Tony Quaid, Packie O’Connor and Dean Clancy are out injured. We’re missing Kevin Foster through work and Ray Brouder is out of the country. Danny Neville could not commit either but we have drafted in Sean lynch, Cathal Cummane, Darragh Deegan and Martin Madden so we have strength in depth now
Is Tony Quaid any closer to returning? If not, how big of a loss is he?
Brian: Tony should be back for the last game all going well. He is a massive loss. He’s a top player and would be a great addition.
What do you know about Kerry and are there any specific strengths or weaknesses from them that stand out?
Brian: I don’t know as much as I would like to know but they will be tough. There is some great teams in the Kerry League. They were extremely disappointed to lose to the Limerick District League and will be determined to bounce back. It’s going to be a dog fight and I think that will suit us to be honest.
Are there any specific areas that you would like to improve on from the West Cork game?
Brian: I want the lads to go out and express themselves. As I said I accept the responsibility for the poor opening result. We need to be more attack minded. Our delivery in the final third has to improve. It’s important we come out of the blocks fast so we will set the team up accordingly.
Finally, best of luck tomorrow and hopefully you can pick up the three points.
Brian: Thanks Jason and thanks to yourselves for the great coverage of the league this season. Hopefully we can do the league justice on Sunday.
A big word of thanks to Brian Barry for taking part in this interview and the very best of luck to him, his management team and players.
The Limerick Desmond League take on the Kerry League tomorrow, Sunday the 27th of November, in Group C of the Oscar Traynor Trophy. Kick-off is at 2PM in Mounthawk Park, Tralee.