Ian Turner named SSE Airtricity Player of the Month for October

Limerick winger Ian Turner has been named the SSE Airtricity/Soccer Writers’ Association of Ireland Player of the Month for October.

It is the first time that Turner has won the monthly accolade, which was presented to him today by Aine Murphy from SSE Airtricity and Republic of Ireland Assistant Manager Roy Keane.

Turner played a key part in Limerick’s bid to avoid automatic relegation. The Blues failed to win any of their first 21 games, but a remarkable turnaround saw them avoid automatic relegation on the final day of the season.

However, Martin Russell’s side ultimately came up short, with a play-off defeat to Finn Harps sending them down to the First Division.

Turner reckons it is hard to pinpoint what went wrong this season but believes the move from Jackman Park to Markets Field helped steer them in the right direction after a poor start.

“The Finn Harps defeat was an anti-climax after what we went through to put ourselves in that position,” Turner admitted. “I don’t think we can make excuses but Jackman Park didn’t help us. We try to play good football and get the ball on the ground and that pitch didn’t suit us. Moving to Markets Field gave us a lift because it’s a bigger pitch and a good surface.

"Ultimately we failed to get over the line and it’s hard to put your finger on why we got off to such a bad start. They say winning is a habit and losing is a habit too. I think we got into a bad habit and it was hard to get out of it.”

Turner was bitterly disappointed after the play-off defeat to Harps and feels Limerick lost the tie in the first leg having only won the game 1-0 and missing a number of chances.

“I thought the second leg was a very even game," he said. "The first leg killed us. We should have had two or three goals going up there, we missed a lot of chances. But to be fair to them they set up defensively and they kicked and headed everything away.”

Turner is unsure what the future holds for him and he does not know where he will be playing his football next season.

“It’s hard to say because it’s still very fresh,” he added. “I’m waiting to see what happens. There are meetings planned for this week so we’ll just have to see what the future holds.” 

In winning the award, Turner saw off competition from Dundalk midfielder Richie Towell, who was runner-up. Ciaran Gallagher of Finn Harps finished third in the voting.