Bray provides United youngsters with another opportunity to shine

Buoyed by an encouraging weekend, Galway United return to SSE Airtricity League first division action at Eamonn Deacy Park tomorrow when hosting Bray Wanderers (7.45pm ).

Alan Murphy’s rapidly improving outfit cruised to a convincing four-goal win away to Wexford FC at Ferrycarrig Park on Friday before coming from behind to defeat Athlone Town after extra-time in the EA Sports Cup on Monday.

That so many players contributed to the two triumphs delighted Murphy.

“It is brilliant that over the weekend 21 different players started in matches for Galway United,” Murphy says. “Players are getting an opportunity to stake a claim, to show what they can do, and reflect the hard work they have done so far.

“Obviously it might not have been ideal to make 10 changes, but I felt the squad needed that opportunity, and I'm just glad we were able to get over the line to be in the next round of the cup.

“It is hugely important for the development of the club and the players that we have as many games as we can in terms of all the cups. There will be loads more opportunities for all of the squad members to play in games.”

Murphy is satisfied with how young footballers from the locality are developing, and believes there is further scope for improvement.

“The guys need to put their trust in what I'm telling them and the work they are doing,” Murphy adds. “I think they are buying into it. They can see each week they are able to perform at this level and it isn't a level they should be afraid of, or in awe of.

“They just need to knuckle down to perform. We are very much ready, and while each week there will be a different task, it is refreshing to see a group that in such a short time are gelling so well.

“They are in it for the whole squad, they care about each other, and they are showing that in every session, meeting or analysis part we have. They are really buying into it all.”

Prompted by the splendid Dylan McGlade, Bray have enjoyed a productive start to the campaign.

Murphy acknowledges their collection of established and emerging footballers will be testing.

“I've said it all the way along that the Bray squad is the best in the league because it has a good mix in it in terms of players with experience and others with an appetite that may not be big names, but people should know already,” Murphy says.

“It is going to be a real test for us to perform again at home, to be able to excite the crowd, to show them that honesty and that new requirement of character for the playing personnel that is now in the club.”

The manner in which United delivered a win in Wexford bodes well with talented teenagers Donal Higgins and Colin Kelly both netting goals.

“It was really important to go to Wexford, and not to sound like a cliche, but to perform,” Murphy says.

“Against Shelbourne I felt we performed, but we made mistakes and we are always going to make mistakes with a young squad.

“I thought we performed well, I thought our application and quality was there to be seen. We brought that into the Wexford game, we made two changes, and again two guys got an opportunity."

Murphy believes United were "value for money in terms of what we brought".

"It is a long trip to Wexford, sometimes there can be a lot of excuses, but I think our lads did themselves proud. It was game two out of 27 and that is the way we are looking at it. Every day is a learning day and a day to perform.”

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