Galway’s soccer clubs must now join forces on way forward
Galway should only have one representative team in the Aitricity League of Ireland, according to a report commissioned by the FAI.
Former Tipperary South County manager Ned O'Connor was the independent figure who met with all the local stakeholders, and his recommendation will be backed by the FAI.
The association's chief executive officer John Delaney believes a new team from Galway could operate in the domestic game next season, but 2014 may be a more 'realistic' target.
“We will get one shot at it and we want to implement it correctly,” Delaney says. “ Possibly there will be a Galway representation next year, but it will probably be the year after. It is probably more a probability for the season after next. A strong club in Galway is of national interest.
“For the implementation phase everybody will be asked to present two individuals. We will assist them and if we could get people from Galway with a business background involved that would be good. I'd like an independent chairman.
“We have to get everybody to agree to work under the same structure. If it is a new entity, a new club, there is a whole range of things to be done. I want to make sure we do it right. If we go at it too quickly it could be a false dawn."
Some uncertainty surrounds what will happen domestically next season with GUST believed to have expressed an interest in submitting a licence application to the FAI.
Mervue United and SD Galway will decide over the coming weeks what their next course of action will be following in-house discussions about the report.
The possible return of the Connacht Senior League may have some bearing on their decision with Delaney optimistic a long term solution can be found.
“Any entity can apply to play in the first division next season. What is more important is that we get a strategy in place to implement the findings. Connacht Rugby and the Galway senior hurling team have made strides, so it is incumbent on us nationally to make sure there is a strong team representing all of the county and city."
The last first division matches of the 2012 season are scheduled for this Saturday with a Galway derby at Fahy's Field.
Both Mervue United and SD Galway triumphed in their respective fixtures last Friday which means that Johnny Glynn's charges will finish second from bottom providing they do not suffer a seven-goal defeat at the weekend.
Alan Murphy marked his return to competitive action for Mervue with an opportunistic finish which earned them another encouraging away win at the RSC against Waterford United. Mervue's success in the south east ensured Limerick FC will return to the top flight.
SD Galway enjoyed a productive evening, outfoxing Finn Harps at Eamonn Deacy Park with Brian Gaffney and Enda Curran grabbing the goals.
Tony Mannion's youngsters have been resourceful in their league clashes with Mervue so far this year so they will make the trip across town hopeful of registering a positive result.
Over the next few weeks the happenings off the park at Mervue, SD Galway, and GUST will be monitored with real interest as the future of the senior game Corribside enters a critical phase.
Galway United Supporters’ Trust will hold a general knowledge table quiz next Wednesday, October 17, at Monroes Tavern, Dominick Street, Galway (9pm). Entry fee is €40 per table of four. The next match for Galway United Supporters Trust FC in the FAI u-19 League is away against Limerick FC at Aisling Annacotty on Sunday (2pm).