Encouraged following a stirring FAI Cup win over Cork City last Friday, Galway United return to SSE Airtricity League first division action when hosting Limerick FC at Eamonn Deacy Park tomorrow (7.45pm ).
It has been a particularly interesting spell for Alan Murphy’s youthful United outfit, who have claimed cup victories over Collinstown and Cork each side of a league success away to Cabinteely.
This enterprising burst of form means United will not be short on confidence with Limerick the next visitors to the Dyke Road venue.
Murphy was thrilled how the Cork contest unfolded as Conor Melody’s first-half goal proved to be the decisive moment on a memorable night for the Tribesmen.
“It was a good win. We prepared well, we executed well, and we were worthy winners,” Murphy reflected.
“It means a huge amount to these players who got stick all year - inexperienced, making mistakes, trying to recover from mistakes, filling in for different people injured. This is really what they deserved - a performance and a win because this is a different Galway United.”
The United manager also praised the players' attitude and application.
“They have worked tirelessly, they have given their all. Mistakes or no mistakes, passion and they are learning. The performance was one of real calculation and execution.
“They did exactly what we planned to do. . The management team did unbelievable work on Cork since we got the draw. We knew them inside out. The players went out executing exactly what we wanted. We could have won by two or three I thought.”
And Murphy is delighted how United have demonstrated such resilience during a demanding transitional campaign.
“It means a lot personally because there were question marks over what I was doing,” Murphy says. “There have been question marks about results over performances, decisions in terms of team. This is a long road I'm taking here, this isn't a season or one game or two games.
“This has been bubbling all season, bubbling with performances when we have lost 1-0 in games when we have made really poor errors here and there and everywhere. This is not easy - for inexperienced players to make mistakes and to be ridiculed about them. They are kids.
“They are learning their way in senior League of Ireland football. That is a huge step-up for most of these lads from junior clubs to under 17s. It is a phenomenal jump and they are only going to get better and we will be able to go forward. That is what I'm about.”
An excited Eamonn Deacy Park crowd saluted a gutsy display which was another source of satisfaction for the United boss.
“I think we have paid back a little bit to the fans,” Murphy states. “They have had it hard all season, I understand that, but that is an historic moment they have witnessed. The first time we have beaten Cork in the cup.”
Exciting attacker Shane Doherty, who recently returned to the United States of America, was remembered by Murphy following the Cork encounter.
“Shane lost his dad during the week, he was a huge part of this,” Murphy comments. “He was typical of what was going on here. He was brought in for a challenge, came to Galway, paid his own way, paid everything, at huge expense because of it.
“He just wanted that chance, but the point of it is recruitment. Good people, he is a good guy. We have got good guys here.”