Town fan, Kieran Burke, speaking to Limerick FC's Paudie Quinn, for a view from Longford's Town opponents at Jackman Park, Friday night.
Q: First off Paudie, thank you for crossing into enemy territory to speak to me. We are of course here to speak about Friday's game with many describing it as a promotion six pointer, would you agree?
A: Yeah, I would agree that it’s a very big game. If Limerick win then I think there will be five points between the teams which will be hard for Longford to get back in the run in.
Q: Limerick were unbackable favourites with the bookies pre-season and many expected you to hold a double digits lead over your rivals by the end of series one! Was that perhaps an unfair statement by the pundits or are you disappointed not to be further ahead?
A: A double digits lead? Haha!, no it doesn’t matter what we win the league by as long as it’s Limerick FC at the top of the table at the end of the season.
Q: While Longford Town were expected to be in the battle for a promotion play-off place at the very least, many people have been surprised by their performances so far this season. Was the Limerick camp surprised to see Longford lead for so long or was a strong challenge from the Midlands expected?
A: It’s not a surprise that Longford are challenging for promotion because after last season we knew they were a good side, but being so
close to the top at this point in the season is a bit of a surprise alright.
Q: Friday night marks meeting number three between Limerick and Longford this season with the previous two meetings resulting in away wins. Is that a coincidence or is there an added pressure that comes with playing at home?
A: No, I think the away wins will end this Friday with a home limerick win. We are top now and know what needs to be done and I'm sure we will go out and get the job done.
Q: In the previous three meetings between these two sides this season we have also seen bumper crowds. Do you agree that this developing rivalry is good for the first division and do you enjoy the big games personally?
A: Yeah, the bigger the crowd the better is what I think, fans can get behind you when you need it most and Limerick fans have so far this
season so hopefully they keep it up.
Q: Moving onto your career so far Paudie, something I was unaware of is you are a graduate of the Fulham FC academy. How big of an influence was full time coaching with a club like Fulham on you as a player and what big names were in your class so to speak?
A: I spent two years at Fulham and it was a brilliant experience. Even though I left I still gained a lot out of it, training with the first
team and training everyday gave me a lot of confidence so when I came back two Ireland I felt I could play well for whatever team and I did well in my first season for Limerick. Players like Kerim Frei, Wes Foderingham and Matt Briggs would have been the biggest names I played with at Fulham.
Q: You're a proud Kerry man Paudie but how is football or 'soccer' as it's known down there developing in County Kerry? Will we ever see a LOI representative from the 'Kingdom'?
A: There was a team from Kerry before I think and there could be one soon because I see a lot of Kerry players playing League of Ireland football now, Billy Dennehy probably being the biggest name at Shamrock Rovers while his brother is playing in England as well, so we're not just good at GAA down here we can play soccer too!
Q: We mentioned your time in England earlier and of course on Sunday your Limerick side have a certain Manchester City coming to Limerick for a blockbuster friendly in Jackman Park. How big of a boost to the club is the Premier League champions arrival to Limerick and are you looking forward to playing at the home of Munster Rugby, Thomond Park?
A: Man City coming to Limerick is the talking point in Ireland at the moment, the support it will bring to Limerick and the club will be huge. However, before that game we have a more important one Friday night so after that game we will be thinking about Man City.
Q: When a team like Manchester City arrive in Ireland there is always great attention on the game and we often hear of previously unknown players impressing the visitors. My question to you is would a move back to England still interest you or could you see yourself staying at Limerick for a long time considering the progress the club is making both on and off the pitch?
A: A move to England is what most soccer players want so if another opportunity came I'd love to go back over there.
Q: Back to this Friday's upcoming game, last time LTFC visited Jackman the Limerick midfield seemed to become somewhat overrun by the experience of the likes of Keith Gillespie and Alan Kirby. Is there a fear that could happen again, especially considering Longford's latest acquisition Robert Bayly is expected to take part, or have lessons been learned from the last home defeat?
A: Well, as a Longford man you would say we got overrun but I'd say we never turned up and played on the night, we know we can play a lot better and this Friday we will go out and prove that in front of a big crowd.
Q: While it hasn't been Longford Town's best month in terms of results their fans will point to Limerick's narrow wins over so called lesser sides in recent games as a sign of weakness in the build up to Friday's game. How would you rate Limerick's recent form?
A: Yeah, we haven’t been playing well but when we really need that goal or last ditch tackle in the vital moments we somehow come up with it, so I wouldn’t say we have a weakness. It’s being persistent on trying to win the game.
Q: With the title race so close up until now have you and the other Limerick players been tracking rivals results closely or are you leaving that task to the fans while you concentrate on your own games?
A: Since we are top of the table now, we don't need to look at any other results because we know if we keep winning then the league will be ours.
Q: There have been some suggestions in the build up to this game that cautious tactics maybe used by one or both camps ie.play for the draw. Is there a fear Friday's blockbuster could turn out to be a cagey affair?
A: Well I don't know what they might be saying or thinking in Longford but I know one thing... Limerick won't be going for a draw, winning for the rest of the season is the aim.
Q: It's been a pleasure to speak to you Paudie but I'm going to put you on the spot with my final question. Can we have a score line prediction for Friday's game please?
A: Score line prediction, 2-0 to Limerick FC.