The discussion of who might replace Billy Reid has thrown up many names with ex assistant manager Stuart Taylor not surprisingly amongst them. After leaving Accies he joined Qatari club Al Khor Sports Club as coach last year. Not for long though, as in January 2013 he was announced as manager of Airtricity League Club, Limerick FC on a three-year deal. To many in the Irish media who had been listing some well-known figures this was a surprise appointment.
The vacancy at the club was also a surprise as then manager Pat Scully had secured the club's first promotion from the Irish first division in October 2012 after some 19 seasons out of the top flight. But having done so the club and Scully parted company with no real explanation being offered buy either side. It appears that Scully did not fit the profile to take the club forward and they were looking for someone who had a background in developing youth and their Academy. Step forward Stuart.
Not only is the club looking to develop its youth system but it is currently having the former Limerick greyhound track, Markets Field redeveloped into an 8000 seater, Astroturf stadium courtesy of local boy and Ireland’s richest man JP McManus, to a rumoured tune of 5 million Euros. In the interim Limerick are playing their homes games at the 26,000 Thomond Park Stadium home of Munster Rugby.
Well how is Stuart doing? Remembering the Irish league starts in March through to October, Limerick have played 7 games so far. Under Stuart they have managed 4 draws, 1 win and 2 defeats. After last Fridays 2- 2 draw with Dundalk, a game they led 2 – 0 until the last 20 minutes when Dundalk came back and scored two goals in 7 minutes, they currently sit in a respectable 8th place in the 12 team League. I would imagine that to finish the season secure in the division in a similar league position after 19 years adrift would be considered by most as a success. So what’s the likelihood of Stuart being in the running for the Accies job? Well given he is less than 6 months into a 3-year deal I can’t see Accies paying the necessary compensation. This assumes Stuart would want to leave and given it is his first season with a progressive club on the up I’m not so sure he would be interested. We will just have to wait and see.
And here’s one for the pub quizzers amongst you. Who was Limerick’s manager the last time they managed promotion in season 1991 – 92. You may be surprised with the company Stuart keeps.
If you want to follow Stuart’s progress here is the link to Limerick’s official site http://www.limerickfc.ie/