Kenna to line-out for understrength United in cup tie

FAI Cup semi-final

Intrigue has been attached to Galway United since the start of 2008, and the next instalment in the Terryland Park tale ought to be interesting on Sunday.

A tussle at the penultimate stage of the FAI with Derry City brings respite from the rigours of league action, but such is the current confidence in the Galway camp that manager Jeff Kenna is relishing every challenge.

"The Cup semi-final is a lovely distraction. The fact that we are playing well and winning games will make it very interesting. I am sure Derry won't think of us as a team that are just fighting relegation, they will give us the respect we deserve. With current form, I think it will be a very good game."

It is difficult to disagree with that belief as Galway have been enjoying a productive burst, delivering a stylish brand of football that has earned both points and plaudits.

Still a raft of United's squad are ineligible for the Candystripes contest, ensuring Kenna, the 27 times capped former Republic of Ireland international, will be forced to lace his boots again.

Skipper John Fitzgerald, Marc McCulloch, and John Russell are suspended, while Iarlaith Daveron and Alan Murphy are cup tied, meaning Kenna, Paul Synott, Cian McBrien, and Levi Tierney should all be included in the matchday squad.

Kenna remains optimistic despite so many regulars being unavailable. "We have a few players who are suspended so that is a blow to us, but that is part and parcel of the game. I am disappointed for them more than anything, but hopefully we can get a positive result and they can play in the final."

Jay O'Shea missed Monday's smashing success at Inchicore over St Patrick's Athletic and will return to provide a probing presence behind Vinny Faherty, who is enjoying a rich vein of form as a willing frontrunner. Three goals in 180 minutes is proof of Faherty's healthy contribution and the youngster will be anxious to add another strike to the collection in such a high profile assignment.

Indeed it is encouraging to see so many locals involved in the current United set-up. Obviously Russell is a significant loss, but Seamus Conneely, Alan Keane, Jonathan Keane, and Faherty have all been especially prominent as Galway have climbed confidently out of the relegation zone with three top-flight tussles still scheduled.

That United summoned such a dramatic recovery offers vast encouragement to Kenna. Even as the fixtures arrive thick and fast, Galway are primed for every joust. "I don't think I need to instill anything into the players’ minds now. They have the bulls by the horns, and the bit between the teeth, I can go cliche after cliche, but the dressing room is buzzing.

"I don't really need to give team talks now because the lads are up for every game. Obviously the fact that we are winning, putting in good performances, creating chances, and keeping clean sheets, makes team talks very easy."

With a place in the November 23 RDS decider at stake, United won't be short on incentive. While the United team are considerably understrength, there is sufficient craft to seriously examine Derry's resolve.

•Galway United Supporters Trust will be holding a general knowledge table quiz tonight (Thursday ) in Blakes Tavern, Galway Shopping Centre. First prize is four tickets to the FAI Cup semi-final vs Derry City, plus Sunday lunch for four people before the match. Entry fee is €40 per table of four. All Derry City and Galway United supporters are invited to Fibber Magees, Eyre Square before Sunday’s FAI Cup semi-final in Terryland Park.

Matchday Information

Gates open 2pm at Terryland Park.

 All Galway United supporters to use new turnstiles by Corribside Stand. All Derry City supporters to use old Turnstiles.

Entrance to the Corribside Stand will only be give to patrons with "New Stand Vouchers" – all other patrons will have access to O'Connell Stand and rest of ground. 

The first 1,500 purchases will receive a free New Stand Voucher. 

Car parking within Terryland Park is limited due to RTE's outisde broadcasting units.

Tickets are currently on sale from Zhivago Records, Shop Street, Terryland Park, Ticketmaster outlets and Derry City FC office.



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