Billy Lee remains passionate about Limerick cause:
By Cian O’Connell
It is a constant challenge, but Billy Lee still believes that Limerick can develop.
Lee remains passionate about the Limerick cause even if it can be a demanding role trying to raise the profile of the game in the Treaty county again.
During the past 18 months Lee has been busy steering the Limerick ship and the fact that so many turned down the invitation for a trial is a blow.
“Well, you’d give them an opportunity and look, I always respect people’s opinion, but the disappointing thing for me was that some players wouldn’t answer calls or return a call,” Lee says.
“I find that disappointing because I’m prepared to talk to anyone. But that’s fine, it is what it is now and we’ll move on and that’s it. But yeah, that’s where it’s at.
“And it’s fine, if you don’t want to play football with Limerick, that’s okay. Have the courage of your convictions to be able to say it to me. It’s a pastime, or it’s meant to be a pastime.
“So you try to challenge players to come in, you know, give them every opportunity, find a way for it to work, but I think one or two conversations I had, fellas who were in it for a couple of years they said look, they’re not in the county and they feel they wouldn’t be able to give it 100% commitment and if they did it at 70/80% they’d be found out. But, you know, that’s the challenge.”
For the fourth year in a row Limerick face Clare in the Munster Championship. Limerick have been extremely competitive in the previous three encounters, but Lee isn’t overly concerned or bothered about the familarity. “I wasn’t there for two, I only played the last year,” Lee states.
“It’s fine, it is what it is. Waterford and ourselves are Division Four teams, everyone else in the province are Division Two or Division One. “That’s the challenge we have to aspire to our county, to try and get up there.”
Lee, boosted by the availability of Iain Corbett following a stint with the Defence Forces in the Lebanon, is impressed with how Colm Collins has guided Clare from Division Four of the Allianz Football League into Division Two.
“It’ll be a fine challenge and in fairness to Colm, over the last number of years they’ve done fantastically well. They went from Division Four to Division Two and they’re a seasoned Division Two side, results this year show that.
“They’re a good side like to be be fair to them, they’re a good side. I’m not just saying that to put the pressure on them, I’m not, I’m just saying they’re a good side. We’ll rack up and we’ll take them on and we’ll see where it gets us.”