Galway United boss Caulfield demands consistency on return to top flight


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Galway United boss Caulfield demands consistency on return to top flight Galway United boss Caulfield demands consistency on return to top flight

YOU kind of get the feeling that whoever is in charge of drawing up the fixtures in the FAI missed a trick by not pairing the two divisional champions on the opening night of the new season this Friday.

However, while Shamrock Rovers open their campaign for a fifth Premier Division title on the spin with a home game against Dundalk, Galway United do have a game against a different trophy winner from last year as they welcome FAI Cup champions St Patrick’s Athletic to Eamonn Deacy Park (7.45pm).

Friday will be almost 150 days since United clinched the First Division title with a 4-0 win over Kerry FC in Tralee on September 22, and it will be their first game in the top-flight in seven years, having been relegated at the end of the 2017    season.

It is edging towards being a sell-out – St Patrick’s Athletic dispensed with their allocation of 400-odd tickets in a matter of minutes last weekend, and United were guess-timating during the week that the game would be a sell-out ahead of kick-off.

The club is certainly planning for a big occasion – club chairman, Jonathan Corbett, said at the season preview media event on Tuesday that the car-park at the ground will be closed to the public on Friday night, with the Dyke Road itself being closed to vehicular traffic from around an hour before kick-off.

“The fan experience is very important to us up there at the moment, more eyes are on us this year, we are doubling our security, we’ll have more Gardai there, there will be more crowd control, searching people on their way to the ground, stuff like that,” he explained, urging fans to use the public car-park at the Black Box for Friday’s game, and to arrive early.

It is a tough start for United – as well as winning the cup last year, Pats finished third in the league and are expected to be there or thereabouts again this season, but it won’t do United any harm to have to pull on the big-boys pants at such an early stage and get an idea of just where they stand now that they are back at the elite level.

Pictured: Galway United Manager John Caulfield whose team kick off the new Premier Division campaign with a home clash against St Patrick’s Athletic on Friday night.

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