As preparations continue for the start of the new Airtricity League season the Leader can reveal that Longford Town will welcome back a former star with Alan Kirby set to sign a new deal at Flancare Park.
Kirby, who was with Sligo Rovers last season, was brought on in the second half of a pre-season friendly against another of his former clubs St. Patrick’s Athletic today (Thursday) at Richmond Park with Longford losing 2-0.
The Waterford native was a very popular player during his time with the club and even after he left in 2006 to join St. Pat’s. When he didn’t have a match he would regularly be seen out in Flancare Park on a Saturday night, supporting his adoptive club. Kirby is settled in Longford and married with a young child.
The winger first joined Longford Town back in 2001 after catching the eye of then manager Stephen Kenny when the Town played Waterford United in the FAI Cup semi-final. In the replay of that game, Kirby put in a stunning performance and despite being on the losing side he was named man of the match.
During his spell at the club he won two FAI Cup medals (2003 and 2004) and also the League Cup (2004). He scored the equaliser in the 2004 Cup final against Waterford United – the infamous two balls on the pitch moment. He also won the FAI Cup with Sporting Fingal and Sligo Rovers.
Alan’s return will be a huge boost to manager Tony Cousins who continues to strengthen his squad for the new season which starts on Friday March 2nd away to Mervue United. Promotion is the aim for the Town this season and they will push hard for a return to the Premier Division. The First Division Champions are promoted automatically with second playing third for a spot in the relegation/promotion play-off. Limerick are favourites to win the league but the Town will certainly want to make sure the Shannonsiders don’t have it all their own way. Kirby’s signing could prove to be a very significant move.
More on this story in next week’s edition of The Longford Leader.