It has been a difficult week for many League of Ireland supporters in Galway and the west of Ireland, with the realisation that for a lot of us there will no longer be a team to support at Terryland Park. Since 1977, a team representing everyone in Galway has played at the Dyke Road venue.
Generations of Galwegians, and supporters from further afield have witnessed legends like Eamonn Deacy, Tommy Lally, Kevin Cassidy, Paul McGee, Tommy Keane, Jumbo Brennan, Alan Murphy pull on the jersey. We have seen an FAI Cup win at Lansdowne Road, European adventures, last minute relegation escapes, and hundreds of other matches that fade from the memory.
Where did it all go wrong? The management of Galway United off the field over the past five years has epitomised the worst excesses of the Celtic Tiger. Overspending, over-dependence on the construction sector for sponsorship, neglect and alienation of a large hardcore support
through excessive price increases, a culture of entitlement on the pitch, instead of a drive for success.
Galway United Supporters Trust was established in 2001 and tried to come to the rescue last season. It was like a firefighter climbing the ladder while the walls of the house were burning down. The damage had been done in previous seasons.
GUST now have to lay down our plans and our vision in front the Galway public so that the depression and confusion of the last few weeks, months, years can be driven away and everybody is clear about who we are, and where we are going to. This is the time to build a foundation for a new club. Our motto will be around this vision ‘One City, One County, One Club’.
Galway United Supporters Trust will continue to build on the relationship we have with the Galway and District League, through support of their teams, leagues and clubs. We will meet all junior and juvenile clubs, to make them aware of our plans and vision and our goal of providing sustainable professional football for the city and county and to provide a pathway for their players to the highest level of Irish football.
We have helped to establish the new "Galway Soccer Lotto", which is open to all clubs. Along with this, GUST will continue to support and fund our u-19 team in the Airtricity League.
GUST have the height of respect for the two remaining Airtricity League teams in Galway, however they do not share our goal of a team representing everyone from Headford to Clarenbridge, Newcastle to Tullycross, Carraroe to Woodford, Ballybane to Ballygar. Over the next 11 months we will be re-building bridges with businesses, cultural groups, educational institutions, charities and other sporting bodies. There are some huge events to look forward to this year - Euro 2012, the Volvo Ocean Race, Galway Arts Festival, and many more. Galway United Supporters Trust want to be part of the huge tapestry that is Galway life.
There is a lot of work to be done. If you want to be part of this exciting project - a community club for everyone in the city and county, please call into our office at Terryland Park, contact us at (091 ) 767336 and (087 ) 6972823, or visit our Facebook page - www.facebook.com/gustfc