Forging meaningful and lasting connections with supporters is key to the long term development of Galway United Football Club.
Since restrictions were lifted significant crowds have been attending games at Eamonn Deacy Park with United’s average attendance for the 2022 season rising to more than 2,000 spectators.
A number of initiatives organised by United board member Colin Coyle have been availed of by local clubs.
On Friday Claregalway National School will bring schoolchildren to the SSE Airtricity League first division encounter against Treaty United with the teaching staff to be commended for organising the trip.
United manager John Caulfield acknowledges the relevance of attracting new followers. “That is where we have to work hard,” he says.
“To get out to the community, to get out to the schools, to the schoolboy and schoolgirl clubs to get younger people in. Our fanbase had sort of drifted away over the last eight or nine years, you can see that because the club hasn't been challenging.
“You can see and sense around the community that people are coming back to follow us. You can see from our gates, the amount of school children that are there, the amount of teenagers that it is the way to go.”
It is an encouraging time for United, who have won eight out of their past nine matches, according to Caulfield. “The more people we can bring through the gate and the more young people we can bring through the gate the longer they will stay with Galway United,” he adds.
“That is what we need to build up - a strong fan base again. It is great for the children, but it is also great for Galway United. It is certainly good for the team when you are playing in front of big crowds.”
**Listen to the full interview with Galway United manager John Caulfield on this week’s ‘Cian on Sport’ podcast available on Soundcloud, Spotify, and Apple Podcasts.