There are many things that one could say are wrong about the League of Ireland and how it functions as the top-level competition for football in the country. However, over the past week, two announcements from Munster show that some clubs and communities are working together with the hope of reaping positive rewards.

With special guest Roy Keane in attendance, Cork City launched its ‘Patronage Scheme’ at University College Cork, which¬† aims to provide young footballers with access to third-level education in tandem with their development as an athlete.

“Ensuring our players have access to third level education is a key priority for Cork City FC and its owners, the members of FORAS,” said Cork City CEO Tim Murphy at the launch. “The Patrons Scheme will allow us provide such opportunities to our underage players in addition to the best coaching possible and a clear pathway to senior football.”

In Limerick, the announcement that the club had purchased a site in Bruff where a training hub and social centre would be housed also buoyed the region. “We want to be central in the everyday life of Limerick people, sharing their love of sport, their community pride and their values,” said Limerick chairman, Pat O’Sullivan.

The Blues have truly broken ground in this venture and their desire to leave a bright, forward-facing legacy in a landscape littered with Irish football disappointments is to be commended.

For more discussion on League of Ireland matters, including the thoughts of former Waterford United manager Stephen Henderson on the developments in Munster, check out the #LOI GoalMouth on Goal.com.

The #LOI GoalMouth is the League of Ireland segment of Dave O’Grady’s YBIG Football Show. You can listen to the full show by clicking HERE.

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