On the road for the past fortnight, Galway FC make a welcome return to SSE Airtricity League action at Eamonn Deacy Park when entertaining Waterford United tomorrow evening (kick off, 7.45pm ).
It will be a busy weekend at the Dyke Road venue as Tommy Dunne's team also hosts Finn Harps, managed by Galway native Ollie Horgan, in the EA Sports Cup on Monday (kick off 5.30pm ).
A hectic Bank Holiday schedule awaits for Dunne who plans to utilise a good chunk of his squad.
“We will need everybody over the weekend,” he says. “It is a bit difficult with part-time players to ask lads to play two games over a Bank Holiday weekend. Overall the boys have been brilliant, they have trained really, really well. I think all of the players within the group are in good condition, so we will have no problems from that aspect.”
Jason Molloy, a goalscorer in last Saturday's eventful draw against Longford Town at City Calling Stadium, is a doubt with an ankle injury, but Dunne hopes the 25-year-old will play a valuable part. “We have a few niggles here and there. Jason Molloy has a bit of an ankle injury. A few others have niggles, but in general we should be OK."
Dunne is happy Martin Conneely, who has been a key figure, is back at full tilt again following a hamstring complaint. "Martin Conneely has recovered fully. He was a little bit iffy going into the Longford game, but he should be fully fit going into this next game against Waterford. We just want to get through this week’s training now because the pitches are starting to firm up quite a bit. We just have to make sure we don’t over extend.”
Eking out positive results on home turf is precisely what Dunne wants to start doing regularly as in the first four matches Galway have defeated Cobh Ramblers, drawn with Shamrock Rovers and lost to Longford Town and Shelbourne. The Galway manager hopes the tough test Waterford will provide can challenge his players.
“The home games have been difficult I suppose as regards results, but it is a big match against Waterford at home,” Dunne said. “It is an interesting one also. It should be a really good and interesting game because for me Waterford will be there or thereabouts at the end of the season. They are one of the strongest teams in it.”
Longford would be viewed in a similar category, but Galway were caught out at the death as Stephen Rice poked an equaliser to cancel Ryan Manning's latest cracking strike.
Shels currently top the table, but only four points separate second and seventh place, confirming just how tight most of the matches have been. Strangely Waterford's four away encounters have all ended in draws and, when Galway collided with the Blues at the RSC in March, it also ended scoreless.
Dunne expects goals this time around. “The last time we played them they attacked well. It was an open match with loads of goalmouth incidents, even though it ended in a 0-0 draw. I’d be surprised if it ended 0-0 this time.”