Limerick’s newest arrival Daniel Kearns wants to “enjoy football” again, having put pen to paper with the Shannonsiders at their base in Bruff on Wednesday afternoon.
Listen to Daniel’s interview, below.
The 26-year-old lit up the League of Ireland with Dundalk, with his performances earning him a move to Peterborough United, where he departed in 2014. He admits that his form has not been at that level in recent seasons, but he is hoping to discover his best when he lines out for the Superblues in 2018.
Belfast-native Kearns agreed the deal with manager Neil McDonald in the past fortnight, and travelled to Limerick’s training base in Bruff to complete the move, having ended an 18-month spell with Sligo Rovers at the end of last season. And now he cannot wait for pre-season to begin in early January.
The former Republic of Ireland Under-21 international told LimerickFC.ie: “I’m happy to get it all done and dusted today. I spoke with the manager last week and got things sorted; I had a good chat with him. I’m looking to come in now, get started and get settled.
“Once I heard there was a bit of interest with my agent back and forth, I think it was important to speak to the manager and see what his plans and his views were for the season ahead. Once I listened to what he had to say, it was something that I wanted to get on board with. I’m glad it’s all done now and I can look forward to pre-season.
“I think it has (been a while since I hit my top gear), if I’m being honest with myself. It has been a sort of up and down last couple of years. I don’t think I’ve hit my peak fitness or my peak form for the last couple of years. Touch wood, that’s behind me.
“Now, I’m fully focussed on getting down for pre-season, hopefully having a good pre-season, keep myself fit and help my team as much as I can. I want to start enjoying my football again and start enjoying my game.”
Kearnsy added: “I want to get 25-30 games under my belt. I haven’t really had a full season like that in a number of years – that’s my main aim and focus at the minute. I want to enjoy my football next year and have a full season – hopefully, I can do that here.”
Summing up his time at Sligo, Daniel admitted: “I’d probably say frustrating, being honest. Obviously, we struggled a bit last season – we were in relegation for large parts of the season, and with the change of manager. With things like that it was difficult – it was frustrating for everybody, really.
“At the start of the season we didn’t think we would be in that position. But it is what it is – it happens, it’s football. I would say overall it was probably frustrating more than anything. But it’s in the past, it’s behind me now and I’m concentrating on playing my football down at Limerick.”
Kearns – an Irish Cup winner with Glenavon in 2016 – caught the eye in Sligo’s scoreless draw with Limerick at the Markets Field in July, and McDonald is “looking forward” to working with him in the coming months.
“I watched Sligo a few times and Daniel was always one that hit me,” Neil said. “He’s exciting on the ball, he takes people on and we are looking forward to him doing that in our squad, along with scoring more goals.
“When I spoke to him he was really excited about coming here. We want to work with Daniel and make him better. He’s 26; he gives us experience of the Premier Division, he has a good pedigree, and we welcome him to Limerick.”
Profile: Daniel Kearns (born: 26 August 1991) started out at local club Saint Oliver Plunkett in Belfast before earning a move to West Ham United in 2007. He returned home in 2010 and signed for Dundalk, where he made 49 appearances – his goals and performances key to their run to the Setanta Sports Cup final in 2011.
His displays earned him a switch to Peterborough United, where he made over 30 appearances including in the Championship, and from where he had loan spells at York City, Rotherham United and Chesterfield. He also had a spell at Carlisle United, before returning to Armagh-based Glenavon where he won an Irish Cup last year, with the last 18 months spent at Sligo.
Want to sponsor Daniel for the 2018 season? You can secure his Home or Away Sponsorship Package right now through our Online Shop: http://www.limerickfc.ie/shop/sponsorship-sale?product_id=235
2018 Season Tickets are also available through LimerickFC.ie: http://www.limerickfc.ie/club-shop/tickets/buy-match-tickets
Date: Wednesday 29 November 2017