Mervue United's Airtricity League adventure continues tomorrow when Johnny Glynn's side host Longford Town in the first leg of an interesting promotion play-off at Fahy's Field
Six victories in a row have seen Mervue climb into the top three in the first division and the Galway outfit will bring form and momentum into Friday's encounter – even if the FAI continues to insist there will only be one Corribside club involved in 2014.
Much speculation surrounds the future of Mervue in senior football, but chief executive officer Declan McDonnell is calling on the local sporting public to support Glynn and his players.
“There is a lot of talk at the moment about certain things, but we feel that Johnny and the players deserve huge credit for the remarkable run they have been on,”McDonnell says.
“Considering the confusion and uncertainty the players and manager have been under, they have been brilliant as they have kept winning matches when it counted the most. We just hope people in Galway can appreciate that because Longford are expected to bring 300 supporters to Fahy's Field.”
McDonnell says much progress made between the four stakeholders, Galway United Supporters Trust, Galway FA, Mervue, and Salthill Devon, towards the proposed new Galway side, but things still need to develop further.
“So we at Mervue are treating Friday's fixture with real care because we want to win it. Who knows what the future holds?”
While the FAI is adamant one of the main recommendations – one Galway Airtricity League team - from the independent report of Ned O'Connor which was published in October 2012 will be implemented for next season's competition, McDonnell too is adamant that Mervue must carry out their own duties.
“Since the talks about Galway FC started some months ago we have also continued to go about our business. We have participated in the talks about Galway FC and we are happy with how they are progressing, but the fact that we have enjoyed our best ever season is satisfying, so we just have to keep going.
“Some people were even suggesting we might not take part in the play-off, which I found ridiculous because we will honour every game we have. Throughout the season we have done that and we are on the verge of a massive achievement. We have tried to put Galway soccer back on the map and I think Johnny and his players are being rewarded for the work they have put in.”
Mervue had to deliver a win at Ferrycarrig Park against Wexford Youths last Saturday and that is precisely what they did. A brace from Gary Shanahan and goals from Stephen Walsh and Michael Duffy earned them a play-off berth where Longford await. Mervue, who went more than 526 minutes without leaking a competitive goal, saw their defence breached when Darragh Walshe netted late on for Wexford, but it scarcely mattered.
Being that stingy will be necessary from here on in because Longford will hit the west buoyed by their own success over first division champions Athlone Town at Lissywoolen. Gary Shaw and Ryan Connolly, on loan from Sligo Rovers, notched the goals for Tony Cousins' Longford, who will be keen to avoid defeat in the west with a second leg due at City Calling Stadium next week.
It promises to be tight and tense as Mervue will be furiously seeking to register a record breaking seventh win on the trot.