United travel to the midlands on Friday

Galway United have collected 10 points from four matches

Ed McCarthy, Mikie Rowe, and Wilson Waweru celebrate at Eamonn Deacy Park.

Ed McCarthy, Mikie Rowe, and Wilson Waweru celebrate at Eamonn Deacy Park.

It has been a hugely encouraging start to the SSE Airtricity League season for Galway United, who travel to Lissywollen on Friday for another important fixture against Athlone Town (7.45pm ).

Recent victories over Bray Wanderers and Treaty United ensure that John Caulfield’s defiant team has collected 10 points from four matches.

Wilson Waweru and the influential Stephen Walsh scored during Monday’s tense 2-1 success over Treaty at Eamonn Deacy Park with assistant manager Colin Fortune delighted with the attitude and application shown.

“It was lovely to get the win, like always, a battle, but great to get the win,” Fortune says. “Looking at the fixtures when they first came out it was a tough start, but we have confidence in ourselves.

“We know we have a good group of players in there. We wanted to get off to a good start this year, unlike last year when the start affected us, we spoke about that at length at the start of the season.

“A good start was important, so far, so good. We have a lot of points on the board which is what we wanted, we are delighted to be in the position we are.”

Following an action packed stint, Fortune acknowledged the full time training structure that has been implemented by Caulfield since the outset of the 2021 campaign.

“It definitely helps, especially when you have two games back to back like at the weekend,” Fortune replies. “It does help, the full-time training, and it does take time for players to adjust their bodies and adjust themselves to the full-time training. The demands it is on them, it is hard training so many times a week.

“Your body needs to recover, it needs to adjust, maybe that is why we had such a bad start last year. Maybe it took us that bit of time to get into it. This year, credit to all of the staff, they have been excellent.

“There are so many good guys on the coaching staff, they have all helped, they have put a lot of work in during the season and during the off season. Where we are now shows all the work during the off season has worked, the hard work in pre-season.”

Fortune believes that the United squad possesses significant potential. “The age profile is young enough, they all want to be full-time professional footballers,” Fortune says. “To be fair John has got a group of players in that are good for the club, they are good in the dressing room, they are good, good people. They are professional about what they do, they really want to get on in life.

“They want to be top footballers, they work hard every day. We see that every day, the supporters don't see that, they put in such an effort during the week. I'm delighted they are getting the results from it now, it is not us, it is them putting in the work. It is great to see, it is great for the club.

“I've been in and around the League of Ireland for a long, long time, I haven't seen a set-up like this. The professionalism is second to none. I'm learning every week also, just like the players. It is fabulous to be involved in.”

Next on the agenda for United is an away fixture against Fortune’s hometown club, Athlone. “There is always a close connection between Athlone and Galway, maybe that is where the rivalry comes from,” Fortune says.

“It is a great match to look forward to. We have to pay respect to them because they beat us last year twice and we got out of jail here at Eamonn Deacy Park also.

“We are in no doubt that Friday is going to be a tough game. We need to go there respecting them and making sure we are on top of our game. If we bring our game to anybody within this league I think we are a match for anybody.”

**Listen to the full interview with Galway United assistant manager Colin Fortune on this week's 'Cian on Sport' podcast available on Soundcloud, Spotify, and Apple Podcasts.


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