The future of Galway United and available football talent in the west got a massive boost this week when the Comer brothers offreed the club the use of a 40-acre site in Mountain South, Athenry for the development of a major training facility.
In addition, United confirmed that Luke and Brian Comer of the Comer Group have extended their generous sponsorship of the club for a further two years.
This is the latest gesture of overwhelming support they have made in the development of football in Galway and Galway United FC and provides a platform where the club can further invest both on and off the field, despite a disappointing season this year.
However, those involved with the club have been encouraged to look at the bigger picture in terms of the club’s progress this year and it was encouraging that the contracts of key players were extended this week for a further season, providing manager Alan Murphy and his coaching staff with the opportunity to further develop these players.
With major changes planned for League of Ireland football over the next 24 months, it was seen as essential that United, with its wide geographic base in the west, be ready to avail of the major opportunities that will arise in whatever plans are accepted for the growth of domestic senior football in the country.
Already there are plans to examine the possibility of an all-island league featuring clubs from the League of Ireland and the Irish League. Developments on this regard are expected before the end of the year.
“It was particularly pleasing for all involved with Galway United that Luke and Brian were present in Eamonn Deacy Park this week to meet with members of the club’s management and playing staff to share with them this important announcement,” said a spokesman for the club.
“Luke and Brian Comer have also generously made available to the club a 40-acre site in Mountain South, Athenry for the future development of a training facility.
“This will enable us to establish a state-of-the-art Centre of Excellence for the progression of young players from Galway and the surrounding areas.
“This will ensure a lasting and fitting legacy of the fantastic relationship the Comers have with our club and provide an environment to ensure a sustainable source of talent for the further growth and development of the club,” he said.
Commenting on the facilities announcement, Noel Mooney FAI general manager, said it was encouraging to hear the progress with Galway United and their development plans for a Centre of excellence in Athenry.
“The FAI Facility Development Department will work alongside Galway United and other stakeholders such as the local authorities to develop a feasibility study on how this proposal can come to fruition.
“The benefits of a footballing Centre of Excellence in Co Galway will provide a massive boost to the club and wider community and we look forward to it developing,” he said.
United play host to Drogheda United at Eamonn Deacy Park tomorrow (Friday ) with kick off at 7.45pm.