Galway United manager John Caulfield is expecting a tricky SSE Airtricity League first division test against Athlone at Lissywoolen tomorrow evening, kick off 7.45pm.
Athlone, managed by former United player Adrian Carberry, have made several prominent signings in the close season drawing away to UCD last weekend.
At the same time United divided the spoils with favourites Shelbourne at Eamonn Deacy Park, but Caulfield is completely aware that the 2021 first division is particularly strong.
Caulfield praised the work carried out by Athlone boss Adrian Carberry.
"We have Athlone this weekend, they have signed 13 or so new players, big players like Kurtis Byrne, Micheal Schlingermann, Kilian Cantwell, James Doona, and Adam Wixted, lots of big players," Caulfield says.
"They got a fantastic result up in UCD, in this league every game every week you have to be prepared.
"If you aren't on your game you will be turned over. This is a game where Athlone will fancy themselves, but at the same time we are looking forward to it."
Caulfield is eager that the Tribesmen, who divided the spoils with favourites Shelbourne last Friday, can attain a level of consistency that will be demanded throughout he campaign.
“We are working very hard with the lads to make sure week in, week out that we can give a high performance," Caulfield adds.
“If we can do that as a manager that is all I can ask for. If we do that I believe we will win a lot of games, but we know how difficult it is. Athlone will be an incredibly tough game, it is a local derby.”