Brennan takes the hot seat, as unhappy Connor departs

 Sean Connor, forced to play with “kids” departs Terryland after United arrest their run of 24 defeats on the trot.

Sean Connor, forced to play with “kids” departs Terryland after United arrest their run of 24 defeats on the trot.

Last weekend was particularly busy for Galway United with two matches and a managerial change as the club's horrific 24-match losing streak finally ended.

Unfortunately Galway were unable to add further points to the account on Monday at the Belfield Bowl following Friday's encouraging draw with Dundalk. That result against the Lilywhites was achieved with an industrious performance. There was no shortage of courage when Galway took the lead at UCD, but the students fought back to secure a 2-1 win.

Those brace of deflected UCD goals were extremely lucky as John Brennan's first game in charge of Galway ended with a defeat. Still, leaving the capital there was a sense of optimism because Galway had been sufficiently capable to produce a second gutsy performance on the spin.

Before that reversal most of the talk had focused on Sean Connor's departure which was confirmed in the aftermath of the Dundalk encounter. In the build up to that tussle rumours circulated that a compensation package had been agreed and that was eventually confirmed.

Connor did not deny there was a nagging feeling of unfinished business when departing the Terryland Park hot seat.

"To be fair, the crowd in the main stand have always been quite supportive of me. They cannot say that there has been any game where we haven't put effort in. We have taken some heavy defeats, but the effort has always been there. It has been a tough year and it has been a learning process for a lot of young players. The football club needs to be patient. I think I am better than the people I have been working with.

"I am not particularly happy with things because I would like to have seen the job out. I have never walked away from a challenge in my life, but it has been made quite clear that I am not wanted in Galway. I have been a professional coach for eight years and am more than happy to deal with the mechanisms of that. I will make sure that the next club I go to will be a professional football club."

"One hundred per cent I am disappointed that I wasn't able to do all the things I set out to do. When I first came in here every transfer window we had I had my budget cut every time. That was frustrating. Not just me, but previous managers would get good players into Galway, but by the end of the season they would be gone.

"Last year we had Rhys Meynell, Jamie McKenzie, Stephen O'Donnell, Karl Sheppard, and Derek O'Brien, but financially we couldn't keep them and that was a frustrating part. Some of the players I brought in we have seen go, and now some of the young players are beginning to develop. Not to see it through is a sad thing. Ultimately you have to be wanted and be treated properly as a professional. Unfortunately for a lot of this year that hasn't been the case."

Connor acknowledged the manner in which the majority of Dyke Road regulars backed Galway during his time in charge.

"I would like to say to the people of Galway, to the genuine supporters who backed me 100 per cent -thank you. They have been tremendous, I think you deserve better than what you have got over the last number of years. Not just under my tutelage, but under previous managers. To be honest with you, a manager is only as good as the equipment and tools he are working with, but I think my CV, up until this year, shows that if you give me a reasonable budget, I will do a good job. There is no doubt about it now there is a black mark on my CV, but any genuine football person will understand the conditions I was working under.”

Connor said he was forced to play with "kids".

" I don't think everything was taken into consideration during the season, but I was dealing with amateurs. They have an amateur mentality, an amateur ethos, I am a professional. I have tried to remain professional throughout very difficult and provoking times. I have remained professional trying to do my job even though I didn't get paid for 10 weeks.

"I will leave genuine, good football people to make up their minds, but I don't think I have become a bad manager overnight. I think my CV stands up there against anyone else’s. I continue to believe that I got the best out of that Galway United team, week in, week out. I got the best out of what I had available. You are beginning to see now a team that is getting ready to compete against whoever they will play from the first division. The two Korean boys, Laurence Gaughan, Gary Kelly all these boys are beginning to mature."

Over the past couple of matches the players mentioned by Connor have contributed to the Galway cause and they will need to be equally effective in the final lap of a demanding campaign. Brennan and assistant Tommy Lally will relish the opportunity to operate at this level and the Galway players can expect a rigorous training ground approach ahead of Bohemians' visit to the west on Friday September 23.

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