Following three SSE Airtricity League First Division away defeats in-a-row, Galway United make a welcome return to Eamonn Deacy Park action tomorrow when hosting Athlone Town, kick off 7.45pm.
Alan Murphy’s youthful team will be hoping to produce an improved performance, but the United manager is adamant that several exciting youngsters can contribute in the remaining weeks of the season.
Reasons for optimism exist according to Murphy, who believes there is significant potential in the United squad. “Without a doubt, we have given debuts to 16 or 17 players,” Murphy says.
“Has that ever been seen before with the amount of players coming in to make debuts. That is the starting point to this whole thing.
“You just need to look at Dara Costelloe, a 16-year-old, he came in last season when he was 15. He has played a good chunk of games this season. He finds himself going into senior cycle, into fifth year in school in September.
“He has a two year cycle to do for his Leaving Certificate so it is phenomenal that he is able to deal with some of the pressure being able to play, and he is so young in his development and such a talent. We have several different players in that category who are very young in their development as a League of Ireland player. They are just finishing Leaving Cert and beginning their lives.
“The future is bright and we have been competitive in every single game. I think it is a positive thing to say that with a group of such young and inexperienced players.”
Arguably United’s most effective display of the year so far occurred in Lissywollen on April 19 when registering a four goal triumph.
“That is what we are trying to do every week, to recapture little portions and chunks of the good stuff we have done previously,” Murphy admits.
“Again I have to keep harping on. If it was a simple formula this whole development of new players wouldn't be needed. That performing the same way in the same standard, that is experience, it comes with having 100 League games.
“Having different scenarios going to Cobh for a real battle, or Longford at home where it is an open game when you get time on the ball.”
Despite the disappointing recent results valuable lessons are being learned by the United squad according to Murphy.
“It was a poor end before the break for us, but we have to be realistic acknowledging where we are presently,” Murphy adds.
“We were excellent for 45 minutes against Limerick, really dominated. Then unfortunately, which has happened a lot of times this season, we weren't able to put two good halves together because of the lack of experience and the constant mistakes we make week in, week out.
“We are trying to address them, to learn from them which is the main thing with this young bunch of players.
“It is difficult because you see the application and effort this group of players are putting in for me and the club.”