Supporters bus to Fridays game against Athlone will depart from Crowes Bar Bohermore at 6pm sharp. Post here or contact 085-1083930, 086-2361040 or 087-9163438 to book a seat. Pick up points can also be requested here, Dublin road between Galway and Oranmore and all motorway exits between Galway and Athlone serviced. If you wish to get picked up en-route, please message any of the numbers above.
The FAI have endured a turbulent period of time of late, with their critics seeming to grow more vocal and numberful in the past few months. The FAI have long been criticised for their treatment of the League of Ireland and its allocation of funding. These criticisms have grown strongly in the past few days following the revelation of an undocumented ‘bridging loan’ of €100,000 provided to the FAI by John Delaney. Earlier on today, while the Irish team struggled over the line after a poor first half performance against Gibraltar, rumours that the FAI had a massive announcement to make after the game began to swirl. The rumours didn’t go over the heads of the travelling support in Gibraltar who were heard singing “cheerio, cheerio, cheerio” and “John Delaneys going home” as the Delaney ducked out of his VIP seat early. His early departure from the game added further fuel to the talk of his impending departure.
Those rumours have now been confirmed, as John Delaney’s resignation from the FAI has been confirmed. The decision to step down comes a day after Fine Gael TD Noel Rock called on Delaney to resign, questioning Delaney’s high salary.
It has been announced that John Delaney will step down as CEO of the FAI but will remain on as Executive Vice President.
Chief Operating Officer Rea Walshe has been appointed to replace Delaney as CEO on an interim basis. A full public procurement process will also be undertaken to assess Delaney’s time as CEO.
More to follow…
Noel Connolly- Galway.
How did you become interested in Galway United?
I have been a fan of GUFC ever since I was a teenager in the late seventies going to the very first games in the league cup, having been invited to take part as the then Galway Rovers FC. I haven’t missed many home games since then either. Have always been involved since, from helping run the early supporters club to serving on club committee.
What is your earliest memory of Galway United?
As above heading up the Dyke Road to Terryland Park on a Sunday afternoon and the atmosphere in “the Shed”.
What has been your favourite moments as United fan?
Happy to say I have been at all the great days and nights. Winning the league cup for first time in Tolka Park in 1985 and in 1997 were great occasions, but winning the FAI cup has to be the stand out moment. The Johnny Glynn goal was delivered on a plate by the legendary Tommy Keane and travelling back with the team on Monday Night to Galway was special.
What are your worst memories as a United fan?
The collapse of the Club in 2012 and going out of the league was a horrible time for GUFC fans, but on the pitch the worst memory would be the 3-0 away playoff defeat to Drogheada in 2003. Having led 2-0 in the first leg we went to United Park in confident mood, but on a wet night everything went against us including some dubious refeering decisions which relegated us 3-2.
What does your role as stadium manager involve?
My role as stadium manager has been broad and interesting. I have been in this role since 1994 and have to say it’s been most enjoyable. It has involved obviously planning and preparation of the ground in recent years as developments took place and preparation for match day, keeping stadium areas safe and in good condition. As well as managing the playing surface throughout the year, which can be challenging as we have a 12 month season here with local football in winter and overlapping to summer national league both ladies and gents. I also manage the community employment project which has a staff of 32 with 10 based in EDP and remainder at local soccer rugby and gaa clubs around the city, some I help train in groundkeeping skills. The stadium is open every day with the Galway FA office a busy location for all local football issues.
What are matchday preparations like?
It often depends a lot on the weather! I usually would be monitoring the conditions on what work is carried out before match day. It’s normally a long day for GUFC games normally starting at 9am and usually locking up the gates around 11pm. Match day prep will be carried out with the help of CE staff. The pitch is usually cut twice on match day to look as good a possible and the pitch is lined in afternoon. Then flags are put up and the ground is checked for anything dangerous or any H&S issues. The toilets opened and checked and any new signage is put up. The away fans area prepared, the seating is checked, the turnstiles are opened and operating. Just to mention the most important tasks… others would be arranging for any visiting teams and half time pitch use, helping to organise stewards etc.
What is something about EDP that most people wouldn’t know?
Obviously most wouldn’t know the amount of games we host, which normally around 100 per year. Theres a big demand in March-June as we have all the local finals during that period, as well as the league of Ireland and ladies national league starting.
Probably a useless piece of information would be that the boundary wall of the ground was built in 94/95 by the community employment project with a massive 45,000 blocks.
Who are the best away fans you have seen at EDP?
In the history of the ground the best fans were from Derry when they first entered the league in the mid eighties. They brought thousands to their away games, with colourful and vocal supporters, as well as adding to the home teams finances. In recent years Shamrock Rovers always have big vocal numbers, but not always the best behaved. Limerick in the 2017 season had great away support in EDP as well.
What is your favourite away ground?
It has to be Turners Cross, good pitch great stands close to play and nice local pubs. Tallaght Stadium has set the standards for new modern facilities though.
What would be your reflection on last season?
Like in 2017, we were disappointing. We underperformed and underachieved with the squads we had, and some senior players were disappointing with attitude and performance. Obviously we had and been favourates for promotion, so it was a deflating season from the start to finish. We were always waiting for that expected performance to spark the team into life but, bar the early vctory over UCD, it never happened. After long match days and trying to have everything prepared in the ground to a high standard as possible, it sometimes would be deflating watching us defeated regulary at home.
What lessons should be taken from last season, and what should be done by the team to improve this season?
Hopefully we can make EDP a fortress and a difficult place for visiting teams to come and win. Our home form needs to improve and we must learn when in front to close out games, we gave away to many late goals at home last few seasons.
Which signing has impressed you so far?
Been delighted that Conor Barry has stayed with us for another season, as well as getting Iarfhlaith Davoren back and Kevin Horgan, a local lad, back in goals.
What are your predictions for the coming season?
League Table. 4th.
Top scorer, player of the year. Conor Barry.
The rest of the league. I think Shels will win the division with Longford and Bray close behind.
Thoughts on pre-season?
We have had a quite pre season, would have liked to get one game in EDP but weather and other games didn’t allow.
What have you missed most during the off-season?
The regular Friday night football home and away.
Thoughts on the new merchandise deal with Puma?
It looks well, especially the yellow away kit. It’s a well recognized brand and being the only club in the league that I’m aware of that are using the PUMA brand hopefully we can perform well for them.
Galway United v. Shelbourne, 22/02/2019.
United ended capped off last season with a disapointing end to a disappointing season when they travelled to Drumcondra on the last day of the season. This time United will be hoping to get the season off to a promising start in the reversal fixture, as Shels come to Terryland.
EA SPORTS Cup – First Round Draw
Athlone Town v Galway United
Bray Wanderers v Wexford
Cobh Ramblers v Limerick
Drogheda United v Cabinteely
Longford Town v Cockhill Celtic
Shelbourne v Bluebell United
Introducing Killian Maher-Dunne, a sports writer and Shamrock Rovers fan, who will be contributing a weekly recap of the Premier Division, as well as a monthly feature article.
The League of Ireland kicked off this weekend on Friday, 15th of February, and did not fail surprise anyone. The season had been eagerly awaited by all, from the mights of Dundalk under new management in Vinny Perth, to the newly promoted teams of Finn Harps and UCD. Every team looked strong and this showed on the first weekend with massive games across the league including a potential top of the table clash between Cork City vs St. Pats, and a huge fixture between two sides from last year’s top four in Waterford vs Shamrock Rovers. Five games were played in total on Friday and every game produced a goal, amounting to Ten goals scored.
Bohemian FC vs Finn Harps – 1-0
Dalymount Park welcomed newly promoted side Finn Harps of Donegal in a game which saw the Gypsie’s pull off a relatively easy 1-0 victory over Ollie Horgan’s side. The first chance of the game came through Bohemians lone striker Dinny Corcoran, however the club’s top scorer last year was unable to capitalise on a rather intuitive cross into the box by Darragh Leahy. Despite Bohemians domination of possession Finn Harps were next to test their luck as a former Sligo Rovers duo linked up with Raffaele Cretaro slipping through a delightful pass to McAleer whose shot just went the wrong side of the goalpost. Bohs’ made their possession count however in the 41′ minute of play as Luke Wade-Slater played in Dinny Corcoran, who made no mistake and calmly placed the ball in the back of the net. Dominance from the North Dublin side did not stop there and they were unlucky not to find themselves 2-0 up as Keith Wards excellent piece of play was matched by a superb save by the Harps’ net minder, Peter Burke. Ollie Horgan’s men have a lot to reconsider heading into their next game against league champions Dundalk, as lack of composure in front of goal and a desire to win seemed a real issue for the Donegal side, despite a tremendous turn out by the Harps fans who had to travel quite some distance for the game. Keith Long on the other hand said in his pre match interview that he was pleased with his team’s performance as he said “There is a little bit of an expectancy on us to win, particularly with Finn Harps coming up”. Bohs handled the pressure well and it will be interesting to see how they come up in their next game against the newly promoted Dublin side, UCD.
MOTM: Keith Ward.
Derry City vs UCD – 3-0
Life for Derry fans wasn’t easy towards the end of last season under former manager Kenny Shields, however with the sacking of the out of favour boss, a new one must rise up and all hail Declan Devine! UCD came into this game as the new comers of the league having only lost 4 games last year. UCD were crowned champions last year with relative ease and decided not to make any notable deals in the transfer window. The Brandywell burst into life 21 minutes in when the Candy Stripes opened the scoring with a superb goal from David Parkhouse. The goal came from a Barry McNamee shot that deflected of a defender up in the air which fell to Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe who, with an excellent piece of skill passed the ball to the overlapping Ciaron Harkin, who then squared the ball across goal for Parkhouse to open the scoring from close range. Derry brought this 1-0 lead into Half-Time without much action. That all changed in the second half as Devine seemed to have riled his players up, and from the off they look dangerous. UCD managed to keep the Derry side out up until the 58′ minute when UCD defender Joshua Collins turned the ball into his own net after Eoghan Stokes attempted an outrageous chip. His shot looped over the UCD keepers head and was headed for goal only for Collins to try swipe the ball away in an attempt to save his goalkeepers error. Derry were on fine form and they looked unstoppable, another goal was certain for the Candy Stripes and surely it came 13 minutes after the second, the man of the moment Eoghan Stokes popped up to get himself his debut goal when again, Collins sliced a clearance into the path of Harkin who got his second assist of the night as he passed it through to stokes who made no mistake. It was an excellent night for the Derry lads and one the young UCD team will want to forget. Derry face a tough challenge next as they travel to Tallaght Stadium to face Shamrock Rovers, a team they failed to beat in all four meetings last season, but the Northern lads have got to be confident going into this game top of the league! Collie O’Neill will be hoping for a much better return from his players as they welcome Bohs in a game that promises an interesting tale, this will be the first of many Dublin based encounters and both sides will be well riled up for the occasion.
MOTM- Eoghan Stokes.
FC Dundalk (C) vs Sligo Rovers – 1-1
Oriel Park saw an interesting battle unfold, in which both teams under new management. Sligo welcomed their new boss Liam Buckley as Dundalk unveiled Vinny Perth’s new position at the club after losing the mastermind Stephen Kenny. Nobody saw this result coming as Sligo shocked the league holding out the Lilywhites to a draw on their own turf. The game did not start off as expected, Sligo’s 19-year-old goalkeeper Ed McGinty was at the centre of the action on six minutes as he took out Robbie Benson in the box, the midfielder was forced off on a stretcher with an ankle injury. After a five-minute delay Patrick Hoban stepped up but McGinty got down to his right to save and hold the penalty. Things weren’t looking great for Sligo, as you would expect playing against last seasons double-winners. The Lilywhites substitute Sean Murray who came on for the injured Benson, should have scored after Massey delivered a perfectly executed cross to him but he failed to hit the target. Dundalk were then made to pay 2 minutes before the halftime whistle when completely against the run of play Sligo’s Jack Keaney scored from a 30-yard free-kick which can only be described as the goal of the week. The shot rifled into the bottom corner beyond the reach of Gary Rogers. The bit O’ Red found themselves one-nil up against the leagues favourites going into half time. Dundalk would surely not go down without a fight and 4 minutes into the second half Substitute Sean Murray made up for his earlier miss as he excellently put away a shot from the edge of the box courtesy of a Hoban assist. Dundalk tried their hardest to take the lead but Liam Buckley’s team done ever so well at shutting down shop with an excellent performance from the young Ed McGinty who looks a very promising star. Perth will be bitterly disappointed with the result but he will hope to restore his teams’ confidence when they travel to Finn park. Buckley on the other hand will gain a lot of respect from the fans and players, and a lot of trust will be placed upon him to secure their place in this league. They face the veteran boss’ former side, St Pats, next Friday where they will hope to cause another upset.
MOTM- Ed McGinty.
St Patrick’s Athletic vs Cork City – 1-0
Richmond Park welcomed the most eagerly anticipated fixture of the opening weekend. This fixture seen Republic of Ireland boss, Mick McCarthy, attend and it proved a shocker. Before the game questions were posed of Cork, were they going to be the same side after losing big players such as Sadlier and Beattie? Will they have the determination to bounce back? And, if anything the off-season answered all these questions as Cork went out and strengthened their side with signings such as Liam Nash. On paper, Cork had the best transfer window only behind, of course, St Pats. The Inchicore based side made sure to bolster their side for new boss Harry Kenny with signings suck as Mikey Drennan, Brandon Miele and the return of the infamous hero Chris Forrester. This game was a big one, a potential top of the table clash, however, it was still tipped in the Rebel Army’s favour, but, that isn’t how it turned out. To start off the game it was the visitors who had the better chances with Conor McCarthy and Dan Casey going close with headers inside 10 minutes, and Brendan Clarke then pulled off an outrageous save to deny Garry Buckley from close range. Cork were dangerous in attack and locked to poise a threat every time they got close to the box. A stunning performance from midfield duo Rhys McCabe and Conor Clifford ensured that Pats’ remained the most dominant team possession wise. The games outlook changed, however, when Sean McLoughlin sent the impressive Conor Clifford crashing down in the box resulting in a penalty kick for the Inchicore side. Debutant Mikey Drennan made no mistake in finishing the resulting spot kick and sent Pats’ 1-0 up after 30′ minutes. Ex-UCD man O’Connor was the Rebels best asset as they pushed for an equaliser. Things did not turn out well for Cork as they returned home with a defeat on the opening day. Pats’ still however, have more to offer as Chris Forrester didn’t look match fit and it begs the question, how good can Pats be? Kenny takes his side to The Showgrounds next Friday where they will meet former boss Liam Buckley, Kenny will surely ask for more of the same. Cork, however, welcome Waterford next Friday and will hope for more urgency in the side. Fans will also be wondering if new signing Nash will make his first start for the club? Caulfield will surely ask a lot of his team before another top of the table clash in Turners Cross.
MOTM- Conor Clifford.
Waterford FC vs Shamrock Rovers – 1-2
Last years Fourth place side welcomed last years Third place side to the RSC as Waterford took on Shamrock Rovers. Rovers came into this game favourites to win, as new signings Aaron McEneff and Jack Byrne made their first starts for the Tallaght side. Despite the atmosphere from the home fans it was in fact Bradley’s side who took control of the game from the opening whistle, as Dylan Watts forced an amazing save from Matthew Connor in the Waterford goal. The Blues’ netminder was kept busy throughout the night as he tipped away a Sean Kavanagh free kick and excellently saved a Ronan Finn effort. However the first goal of the night was scored by the home side when Kevin Lynch’s gorgeously arching free kick beat the outstretched Alan Mannus to the bottom right corner. Unlike previous seasons, Rovers attitude towards the game did not change and chances continued to flow, most memorably when Dan Carr’s effort was blocked on the line by Waterford’s goalscorer, Lynch. The home side went in to the second half one up but they knew the job was not done. Rovers came out in the second half ready to go and they reaped the rewards when Dann Carr excellently controlled the ball with a great piece of skill, and squared it to the striker Aaron Greene who was not going to miss from that distance. The home side however could have grabbed the winner when Akinade superbly timed an acrobatic strike however Manus got down well to parry it away. Just as the game looked to be over Rovers’ right back Ethan Boyle struck a shot towards goal that deflected off Rovers’ new Austrian Striker Orhan Vojic and went in. Rovers had won the game in the 93rd minute courtesy of Vojic. Amazing scenes on the first game of the season. Rovers welcome first placed Derry to Tallaght on Friday night and I’m sure Rovers boss, Stephen Bradley, will want a more convincing win next time. Manwhile the Blues head down to Turners Cross for what looks set to be an amazing game.
The first week of the season did not disappoint, we’ve seen upsets, thrashings and last-minute winners. This league is only getting better and better, a huge bit has to be said about the attendance of all games, every game had over 3,000 fans in support, and no game failed to entertain. What more could you want? This is the League of Ireland.
Reclaiming The Dyke
United are aiming to get the season off to a good start when Shelbourne come visit Galway on February 22nd- both on and off the pitch. Club VP Bernie O’Connell recently spoke about the “Reclaiming The Dyke Road” event planned for the first game of the season. O’Connell is calling on everyone associated with sports in the county to meet up at Woodquay before the first game of the season against Shelbourne and march the Dyke Road to Terryland.