- Thursday March 1st, 2012 @ 23:12
BUCKLEY LOOKING FOR CROWDS TO ADD TO NEW BEGINNING
Liam Buckley takes charge of St Patrick's Athletic for a Premier Division game for the first time in just over twelve years as his new Saints side take on Bray Wanderers in Richmond Park on Friday, on the opening night of the new Airtricity League season.
St Pats have made no less than sixteen new additions to last season's squad with five players remaining from 2011 and Buckley is looking for all supporters to bring people along to see his new squad in action.
Speaking to STPATSFC.COM Buckley said:
"We're really looking forward to the new season and we want to encourage supporters to play their part this year.
"What will help us immensely this season is if we can bring back the crowds to Inchicore and get as many bums on seats as we can.
"If every supporter could try and bring just one friend to the game tomorrow then we could double our attendance and create new supporters for life."
Buckley isn't the only familiar face returning to St Pat's as former goalkeeper Brendan Clarke returns having spent six seasons in Inchicore before leaving for Sporting Fingal in 2010.
Clarke is a well known lifelong supporter of the club and he will line out alongside another Pats fan who will be making his league debut for the club.
From a prominent Inchicore family Ger O'Brien has made his name as one of the Airtricity League's finest defenders during spells at Kildare County, Shamrock Rovers, Derry City, Sporting Fingal and Bohemians.
Tomorrow he is expected to be named in Liam Buckley's side and he told STPATSFC.COM that it's a prospect he is looking forward to:
"I've been going to matches since I was 3 or 4 when my dad used to bring me to Harold's Cross and then Richmond when we moved back.
"Once I was old enough myself and my friends used to get the 56 bus down from Tallaght on our own every Friday night for matches.
"My dad Paul and uncle John will be there tomorrow along with plenty of cousins and friends so it will be very special to walk out for a league game in Richmond Park finally wearing a Pats jersey.
"There were some talks in the past about signing but for one reason or another it never happened. The joke in our house every December was always whether I would finally sign for Pats this time around but thankfully this Christmas I was able to tell all the family that I had.
"Even over the last couple of seasons I've always tried to get down to Inchicore if my own match didn't clash with a Pats game so now I won't have that problem anymore.
"I'll be a little nervous tomorrow before the match but we're all really looking forward to the league starting and we can't wait to get going and see what we can achieve as a squad."
Manager Liam Buckley is aware of how difficult a task it will be to win trophies this season in what appears to be a very competitive league:
"When you look at the squad Shamrock Rovers have and the improvements that the likes of Sligo Rovers, Derry City and Cork City have made then you see that it's going to be an extremely tough division this year.
"We're delighted with the squad that we've assembled this season though and we will be looking to be competitive and do as well as we can.
"One thing we will see this season is that a lot of teams will take unexpected points from the so-called favourites.
Bray turned Shamrock Rovers over twice last season when people weren't expecting it and I think that we're likely to see results such as that again this season."