LIMERICK HAVE CALLED up four players to their squad for the 2021 season while All-Ireland winning defender Paddy O’Loughlin has dropped out of the setup ‘for personal reasons for a while.’

John Kiely’s team commence their campaign next Saturday in the Gaelic Grounds against Tipperary after a terrific 2020 season that yielded All-Ireland, Munster and league triumphs.

They are currently operating with a 38-player squad, youngsters Colin Coughlan (Ballybrown) and Cathal O’Neill (Crecora-Manister) both joining for the first time. The pair are Leaving Cert students who won Munster minor medals in 2019.

O’Neill is a highly-rated attacker who scored 0-9 in that provincial final win over Clare while Coughlan is a wing-back. They both lined out last December when Limerick lost to Cork in the Munster U20 semi-final.

The Doon pair of Tommy Hayes and Barry Murphy have also been drafted in. They both featured when their club reached last year’s Limerick senior hurling final, losing heavily to champions Na Piarsaigh. 

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Barry Murphy (left) in action for Limerick against Cork in 2018.

Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Murphy was captain of that side and is recalled after previously being involved in the 2018 All-Ireland winning summer. In the opening game in Munster that year, he came off the bench to score a goal against Tipperary.

Kilmallock defender O’Loughlin was part of last year’s victories while the UCC Fitzgibbon Cup winner had started three times in the 2019 championship against Waterford, Clare and Tipperary.

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In another loss to the defensive ranks, Tom Condon retired in January after being involved for 12 seasons but Limerick will be able to call upon Richie English and Mike Casey during this season after their recovery from cruciate injuries.

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