Another critical contest in Galway United's SSE Airtricity League premier division season is scheduled for tomorrow evening when Tommy Dunne's side host Bray Wanderers at Eamonn Deacy Park.
Last Saturday afternoon a Padraic Cunningham goal ensured United defeated a Liverpool XI in a friendly at the Dyke Road venue and, with Enda Curran a doubt with a hamstring injury, Dunne reckons the teenage striker is likely to start the Bray match.
“Padraic has a great chance of starting with Enda’s injury,” Dunne admits. “He has been knocking on the door from word go. There was a period in the middle of the season when he played a number of matches. It might have taken its toll a little, but he has come back, it looks like he is fresh again. He is hungry to do well and to score goals. He took his goal extremely well against Liverpool.”
A crowd of 2,182 watched the clash with the Liverpool XI and Dunne hopes similar attendances will be at Galway's remaining home fixtures.
“I think these guys deserve good support,” he says. "You are guaranteed they will give you a good shift; they will work. They will play the best they possibly can. If we can get that type of support for all our league games, it would be great. It is badly needed.
“I don’t think people realise the team has to get the support of the public. In League of Ireland terms, that is your bread and butter for a club to survive and grow."
Despite being ravaged by off-field difficulties, Bray have won three matches on the spin 1-0 against Sligo Rovers, Limerick FC, and Derry City, while Dunne was thrilled several United players came through a "worthwhile exercise" against a Liverpool XI.
“It was hugely important for a number of our players to get game time. We got that for Conor Barry, Killian Cantwell, Sam Oji, Cormac Raftery, and Jason Molloy.
“I was hugely impressed with Liverpool - they had a young side, but technically, tactically, and their positional play, was really good. It was a good learning curve for our players too. Overall it was a really useful exercise.
“I thought first half at different times we could have been better. We maybe stood off and gave them too much room. We are going to try to get a few matches over the next couple of weeks for these guys so that they are up to speed. We need them to be. Everything was perfect for the game, we were delighted to have it.”
Kevin Horgan, Morris Neugent, Conor Melody, and Aaron McConnell from Johnny Glynn's Galway United under 19 squad featured in the Liverpool XI tussle which also pleased Dunne. “There is a future there for sure for some of the lads. Overall, from the 19s players coming in and Kevin Horgan, who was excellent in goal, we were delighted to get game time for those players."