Areas to work on for Galway United ahead of away league clash with UCD

Galway United's Stephen Walsh tussling with Martin Walsh of Athlone Town in the club's opening First Division game of the season. United are away to UCD on Friday.
Galway United's Stephen Walsh tussling with Martin Walsh of Athlone Town in the club's opening First Division game of the season. United are away to UCD on Friday.

GALWAY United manager Shane Keegan says the decision to call a blanket ban on all league and cup fixtures last weekend was the correct one – but jokes that it now means his players are “sick of the sight of each other”.

All Premier and First Division league fixtures last weekend were called off by the FAI because of the weather, as were Monday’s EA Sports Cup ties, including United’s away league game with Cobh Ramblers, and home EA Sports Cup tie with Cockhill Celtic.

“We didn’t get much extra training in because of the weather – with people being advised to stay indoors, some of the lads are probably sick of the sight of each other at this stage,” Keegan jokes when asked if the postponed games meant his new-look side could further gel on the training pitch.

“We have four lads living together in a house in Gort, and another group of lads living in a house in Athenry – they just want to get back playing at this stage. Obviously, with the weather, we didn’t get much pitch work done, it was mainly gym programmes we got through.

“It was the right decision to issue the blanket ban, but the biggest annoyance from my side is that I was due to watch UCD take on Wexford last Friday. I have managed to get a video of their game against Shelbourne, but it would have been better to see them live,” Keegan told Tribune Sport this week ahead of his side’s trip to the Belfield Bowl this Friday to take on UCD (7.45pm).

United opened their campaign with a 4-1 win at home to a hopeless Athlone Town side, and Keegan admits that while the result was pleasing, the game still threw up a number of areas where improvement is needed.

“I think, from an attacking point of view, we were okay, but nothing more. Some of our build-up play was very sloppy, some of our passes didn’t stick, but the lads kept working. Every ball that was played up to Eoin McCormack seemed to just bounce off him, it was one of those nights for him, but he never stopped working – the GPS figures for the players showed he covered more ground than anyone else.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.