United keen to finish final home game with a flourish

Galway United’s last home game in the SSE Airtricity League premier division in 2016 is tomorrow’s clash with Longford Town at Eamonn Deacy Park, kick off 7.45pm.

It starts a busy 24 hours for the club with Johnny Glynn’s U19 side also competing the SSE Airtricity League U19 decider versus UCD in Belfield on Saturday, kick off 5pm.

A string of players have been involved in the two squads for the past number of weeks with Glynn’s rapidly developing group enjoying a hugely productive run of form, only losing three of their last 17 matches.

The first team suffered another disappointing defeat away to Wexford Youths at Ferrycarrig Park last Friday. United trailed by five goals before launching a second half comeback mission with four efforts of their own, but Wexford held out to secure victory.

Since defeating table toppers Dundalk in August United have only claimed two wins which is a poor return, so the interim management team of Leo Tierney and Gary O’Connor will be hoping to finish the campaign strongly in the remaining fixtures.

Longford have already been relegated, so it is an ideal opportunity for United to deliver a more solid and substantial performance. Having conceded 10 goals in the most recent reversals against Cork City and Wexford, United need to improve significantly defensively.

That is one area in which Glynn’s charges coped admirably last Saturday when overcoming a strong Dundalk in the SSE Airtricity League U19 semi-final at Eamonn Deacy Park.

Jesse Devers and Gary Kineen netted for Galway, who earned a 2-1 win over the Lilywhites to set up a final meeting with UCD.

“A lot of people might have been seeing our U19s for the first time. It was great that we were able to put on such a good performance,” Glynn says.

“I’m sure they were so impressed with the never-say-die attitude the players displayed. There was a lot of skill and a lot of talent out there.

“At half time I said to the players that there’s no point sitting in, if Dundalk score, then we have to come out. Let’s get out and go at them. I didn’t think they were that strong at the back, so we needed to get at their back four.”

Glynn is encouraged by how his squad has improved throughout the year. “We have a good bench. We’ve worked really hard to make sure that we have that squad because you’re not going to be successful with 11 players. The lads who have come in have done very well and you can see the progress of some of the others players. It’s been a huge factor for the club to have all these young players coming through.

“It was great to see a big crowd at the game, the lads really responded well to that and the fans lifted us at times.”

Now United will be anxious to claim silverware at the UCD campus venue on Saturday, but a difficult test awaits as UCD are a highly regarded outfit.

•Galway United Supporters Trust is running a bus to Saturday's FAI U19 League final v UCD at Belfield, leaving The Dail Bar, Middle Street at 1pm. Seats can be booked by contacting Dominick Walsh (087 ) 9163438 or Ronan Coleman (087 ) 6972823.

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