Crunch time for Galway soccer
Sun sets over the Dyke Road.
By Cian O’connell
Extensive talks involving the majority of stakeholders in Galway football over the past few days with a negotiator chosen by the FAI means the next few weeks promise to be revealing.
Members from SD Galway, Mervue United, Galway United Supporters Trust, and the Galway FA are all believed to have met former county manager of Tipperary South Ted O'Connor, who is expected to compile a report with a proposal on what the best course of action is for the game Corribside.
In the Airtricity League this season SD Galway and Mervue United have encountered plenty of painful results which appears to have alerted the FAI. Six months ago in these pages the FAI's Chief Executive Officer John Delaney promised to hold a raft of meetings with all those involved and interested in senior football. That is an ongoing process and O'Connor's findings will carry significant value.
Between the white chalk lines a Galway XI host Mickey Adams' Port Vale in a pre-season friendly at Terryland Park on Saturday evening.
The fixture is being run and organised by GUST and the Galway FA with the team being managed by the legendary Tom Lally, who is receiving assistance from Galway Hibernians duo, Derek O'Loughlin and Anthony Kelly. Nine of the squad have played in the League of Ireland at some stage, while stalwarts of junior football including Brian Griffin, Vinny O'Connor, and Keith Ward possess plenty of experience. Goalkeeper John Egan, Paul Sinnott, David Goldbey, and Coley Kelly are others who will occupy central roles in Lally's plans for Saturday's contest.
The previous evening at the same venue SD Galway face a difficult encounter against promotion chasing Longford Town. Tony Cousins' midlanders have surprised many to be in contention, but Limerick's greater depth ensures Longford are now three points behind the table toppers. Longford drew at the Dyke Road earlier in the campaign and they will treat SD Galway, who only have posted seven points from 18 matches, with respect. Longford added signings from the now defunct Monaghan United to bolster their squad and Cousins has constructed a decent side for this level.
A Peter White goal for Waterford United at Flancare Park put the Suirsiders to within a point of Longford, who crave a victory against SD Galway now. Craig Hyland, Des Hope, Noel Haverty, Willo McDonagh, Tony Griffiths, Karl Bermingham, Alan Kirby, and Daniel Purdy will be anxious to help Longford's adequate league displays continue.
SD Galway were defiant against the standard bearers Limerick FC at Jackman Park, but a late Dominic Foley goal was sufficient to give Pat Scully's team the spoils.
Tony Mannion's charges were gutsy throughout, though, and SD Galway will be hoping that James Keane, Nicky Curran, Damien O'Reilly, Timmy Molloy, and Enda Curran can examine Longford's credentials.
Mervue United will make the long trek to the southeast for a clash with Wexford Youths heartened following a smashing success over Athlone Town.
Stephen Walsh and Tom King rattled the Athlone net for Mervue, who are currently four points ahead of their cross town rivals. Mervue will be optimistic of avoiding defeat at Ferrycarrig Park especially if Conor Gleeson, Mike Elwood, Martin Conneely, Jason Molloy, Walsh, King, Gary Kelly, and Alan Murphy are in the groove.