Despite suffering an inevitable relegation, Galway United have already commenced the rebuilding process, yesterday unveiling Jumbo Brennan as the club's manager.
Brennan had taken over from Sean Connor on a caretaker basis for the final nine matches of a traumatic campaign which ended when Monaghan United cruised to a convincing play-off success over the Tribesmen. However Galway have responded to their demotion and Ronan Coleman, secretary of the management committee, insists it was crucial to act swiftly.
"After the play-off defeat we knew we had to act quickly to make sure we are in a position to strengthen the club,” he says. “ We didn't want any further uncertainty around the place. It was vital we installed a manager quickly and that is what we have done. I think it is a good sign and we hope that Jumbo can put his own stamp on the team now.”
Coleman admited Brennan had taken over the manager’s role at a most difficult time in the season.
"He was very brave to come in at such a difficult time in the season. A lot of others wouldn't have gone near to the position and now he will have an opportunity to attract his own squad of players. That is something those of us who are involved with the club are sure he will be good at because of his extensive knowledge of Galway football."
Though United are believed to owe some outstanding wages and a small sum to the Revenue Commissioners, Coleman is adamant Terryland Park will host League of Ireland action next year.
"I am sure we will be competing in 2012. At the present time we look set to be in the first division, but who knows with the FAI's licensing system. If a team in the premier division at the moment does not make the requirements, we will be next in line if they fail.
"This season has shown that a great appetite exists for Galway United. To attract a crowd of 1,450 for our last home game of the season, one in which we only drew three and won one from 40 matches, shows we have a loyal following in the city and county.
“Overall the Galway public have been brilliant in a tough time and we look forward to seeing all these people help us in the future. It will be a long process that may take two to three years, but we are certain we can stabilise as a football club and the fact that Jumbo has committed gives us hope going forward.”
Coleman says the aim for United is to have a “fully local-based set up”.
“We want to give young footballers in the west of Ireland a chance to develop while also competing at the highest level available to them. That is our mission at the moment and we hope that Jumbo will be able to attract the best local talent."