Dunne’s new-look United squad nearly complete

Galway United's pre-season preparations continue with a Saturday evening fixture at Fahy's Field, Mervue, against UCD (kick off 7.30pm ).

Tommy Dunne's side, boosted significantly by the signing of defender Sam Oji, defeated Athlone Town at Eamonn Deacy Park last Saturday.

Enda Curran's first-half strike was the only goal, but Dunne was satisfied his team enjoyed another decent game.

“It was a difficult test,” Dunne said; “Athlone Town provided us with a really good work out and, from our point of view, these are the types of games we want because it highlighted a few things we need to work on.”

Dunne is hopeful United will be ready, willing, and able to compete with Derry City in the opening fixture of the SSE Airtricity League premier division campaign on March 6.

“We’re still not where we need to be, so we’re really going to have to get ourselves up to speed over the next two weeks, but overall I’m delighted with the work out against Athlone.

“We know it’s going to be difficult from the word go. In this division, you don’t get time to settle in from the kick off.

“We’re slowly getting there. Some of our passing and our play needs work, we’ve generally been focusing on fitness and trying to get players up to speed.

“Now we can start looking at how we’re going to play, movements and our patterns. That will be all worked on over the next couple of weeks.

“Come March 6 we’ll get a strong, fit and competitive team on the pitch for the Derry City match,” Dunne said.

Oji's arrival and the re-signing of Jason Molloy is a boost for the squad. Oji, 29, enjoyed a productive year-and-a-half stint with Limerick FC and Dunne is thrilled the much coveted centre half has joined Galway.

“It’s important for everybody at the club, for the squad and supporters, that we brought in experience and that we brought in somebody who would be regarded as one of the top central defenders in the country," Dunne said.

“I think it was needed to boost the squad and we’ve got a lot of young players, so we need some men with that experience to be able to help them through, especially in the premier division.

“We’re absolutely delighted Sam has come in. Hopefully he can strike up a partnership with whoever it might be at the back.

"Stephen Walsh is there at the moment, but we’ve hopefully got another body to come in, Kilian Cantwell who is injured at the minute, as well as Andy O’Connell, so we have a lot of options and with Sam coming in now it should help the guys push on.”

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