The 2017 season starts for Galway Women's FC under new manager Billy Clery with a home fixture on Saturday.
It is a tough opener for the Galwegians who will face last season's runners-up UCD Waves - also under the new stewardship of Noel Kealy - at 7.30pm in Eamonn Deacy Park in the opening weekend of Continental Tyres Women's National League action.
However manager Billy Clery has been impressed with his new charges since taking over in January. After 26 pre-season sessions Clery says “the attitude and commitment of the girls has been first class".
"I'm looking forward to creating a winning mentality and finishing as high up the table as we can," he says. "My personal goal is to win every game, but I suppose being realistic, if we could break into the top three of the league, it would be great.”
Galway have lost Chloe Maloney, Jess Nolan and Lucy Hannon, but the squad has been strengthened with new signings Tessa Mullins, Lisa Casserly, the former Colga star who has returned from Peamount, Sinead Taylor, who having previously played with Galway, also is back at Terryland after time with Peamount, Megan Carroll from Cork City, Aoife Brennan, Shauna Jackson, Grainne Barret and Jennifer Byrne.
Missing from action this weekend is underage starlet Sadhbh Doyle who is in Serbia with the Irish U17s to face Hungary in Gradski Zemum at lunchtime on Saturday. Keeper Tina Hughes is also doubtful with a knee injury, but will undergo a late fitness test in an effort to be available.
Now in their fifth season in the WNL, Galway were fifth last year after a season best fourth place two years ago.
The former United stalwart Clery, who has taken over from former manager Don O'Riordan, is urging all football supporters to follow the Galway women.
"It would be great if we could make Eamonn Deacy Park a fortress for the Galway girls. I urge all football fans to make a special effort to get out on Saturday evening and get behind the girls.”
Admission to the game is €5 for adults; children are free.