Mikie Rowe always believed and his perseverance is being rewarded. A second Galway United goal decorated a neat and effective display from Rowe in Friday’s SSE Airtricity League first division win over UCD .
It was one of those evenings when a passionate Eamonn Deacy Park audience sensed the considerable possiblities that exist with John Caulfield’s squad. “The atmosphere was unbelievable, it is what we all want to play in, to play in front of it every week,” Rowe says.
“We missed it so much when Covid hit. Halfway through the season we were allowed 100 fans in and the place is bouncing. Now you have 20 times that so we are buzzing with that, they do drive us on. It gives that proper professional feel, it really shows the potential in the club.”
“We said at the start of the year potential is a big word. We do have that chip on our shoulder to fulfil that potential, it is not just every week, it is every day being in a full-time set-up. Us, as players, we are really trying to take care of that.
“The coaching staff are trying to take care of that. With the structures that are in place, everyone in Galway is starting to see it, there is lots of potential.”
Rowe, who was on United’s radar from midway through last season, eventually signed for Caulfield’s side in November.
“When Covid hit halfway through last season there was talks, speculation, and whatever,” Rowe says. “When you get a call from John Caulfield at the start of the season you don't take that lightly. Coming here playing for him, for the staff, and the group of players we have it was a no brainer really. They were big factors in my decision.”
Rowe returned to Ireland following a successful spell in the USA with Young Harris College and Tormenta FC.
“It was a bit more of a culture shock returning home after six years than I thought there would be,” he says.
“It probably took me a while to get my feet again, but I am really enjoying Galway, I am really enjoying Galway United as a club.
“There is unbelievable people involved, nights like this you cannot beat the crowd, the fans have been behind us every game this season whether they are watching online, encouraging us from there or whether they are here in their droves. We just want to keep putting on performances for them as much as anything.”
Moving far away from home as a teenager was a brave call. “I was at Waterford when I was 18, I suppose I was the biggest homebird you could meet, but I took that decision because of my football career,” Rowe responds.
“I probably wouldn't be playing full time now if I didn't make that decision. It paid off for me, it gave me a life experience I will never forget. It was the best decision I ever made, but I am really happy to be back at such a good club in Ireland. I cannot ask for much more.”
A fortuitous goal in the Cabinteely triumph was an important moment and now Rowe is ready, willing, and able to deliver for United.
“For me I am obviously delighted to be getting a run in the team,” he adds. “I feel like I am getting better each week, it is just about keeping my head down, putting in a performance next week and really pushing on, that is the most important thing individually and collectively.”
**Listen to the full interview with Galway United’s Mikie Rowe in this week’s ‘Cian On Sport’ podcast available on Soundcloud, Spotify, and Apple Podcasts.