Galway FC start with enterprising display
The Galway FC team which started against Sligo FC at Fahy's Field, Mervue, on Saturday night in the first fixture for the newly established club. Back l-r, Martin Conneely, Vinny Faherty, Conor Gleeson, Marc Ludden, Jake Keegan and Ross Kenny. (Front l-r) Ryan Manning, Paul Sinnott, Colm Horgan, Ryan Connolly and Jason Molloy. Photo:-Mike Shaughnessy
Last Saturday's 5-3 success over Sligo on Mervue United's all-weather pitch was an encouraging start for the new club, achieved courtesy of an enterprising footballing display, especially in the opening period when four goals were netted. Unsurprisingly manager Tommy Dunne was pleased with aspects of Galway FC's performance, highlighting the promise of the youngsters in his squad.
"I know we are back a good bit earlier than Sligo. It was pleasing that the players were prepared to play and to attack. There were some great goals in the first half. Looking at it from the perspective of the group as a whole, I think everybody did quite well,” Dunne said.
"The boys were very good in the first half. We started the game and we were looking to play. We have got some good players here. It is early days, though, and there is a lot of work to be done. We need to get the group bonded."
There was plenty to admire and respect in the enthusiastic manner Galway FC attempted to pass the ball throughout a first half that will be remembered for Ryan Manning’s goal. The immensely promising 17-years-old was a constant threat, operating in a withdrawn role behind Vinny Faherty, who supplied commendable graft and leadership in attack. Faherty also bagged an opportunistic brace underlining his significant contribution.
Out wide Jason Molloy's skill and Jake Keegan's desire were other important factors for a Galway FC side that was guided impressively from the centre of the park by Ryan Connolly.
Ballyglass native Connolly has craved a regular midfield berth since returning from Derby County and Galway FC boss Tommy Dunne wants him to operate in this role. There were glimpses of Connolly's ability when winning a premier division medal with the Bit O'Red in 2012 and a loan stint with Longford Town last year was successful. The evidence in the Galway FC triumph over Sligo showed Connolly has the pedigree and range in his game to be a key figure for the Airtricity League newcomers.
Elsewhere Colm Horgan, the only Galwegian to complete the full 90 minutes, Martin Conneely, Marc Ludden, Noel Varley, and Stephen Walsh were prominent for Galway FC against a Sligo squad that was packed with talent.
Dunne expects to adopt a similar approach for the Limerick contest. “Limerick are a decent outfit and we are looking forward to it,” Dunne commented.
“We won't do a huge amount different to what we did the other night. A lot of players will only play 45 minutes. It is still only early days and I don't want to over extend anyone. In the next couple of friendlies we might start getting a few more to do 90 minutes.”
Following surgery on a troublesome ankle, Alan Murphy is unlikely to be ready until the start of March, while Stephen Walsh is a doubt for the Limerick match, but Gary Shanahan is available for selection again. It has been a particularly busy few weeks for Dunne, who has now signed 24 players ahead of the start of the Airtricity League first division season which starts next month when Galway FC host Longford Town on March 7 at Eamonn Deacy Park.