Galway United return from mid-season break with daunting trip to league leaders


Galway United return from mid-season break with daunting trip to league leaders

Galway United return to action this Friday after the midseason break with the toughest of tests in the league this season: a trip to league leaders, Shelbourne, in Tolka Park (7.45pm).

The squad returned to training last weekend, having been given the previous week off, which allowed many to head to the airport for a bit of early summer sun, and contrary to some wild rumours circulating in the past couple of weeks about players mulling over offers from other clubs, United manager John Caulfield says his core squad are all back and looking forward to the second half of the season.

“We have let some players go: Wassim Aouachria and Tom Costello have left the club, and Joe Wright’s last game will be this Friday against Shelbourne. Yeah, I heard some of the wild stories going around but we only had a couple of phone calls about some members of the extended squad, that’s it, and all our players are under contract,” he said.

Friday could also be the final game in a United jersey for Al Amin Kazeem, whose loan deal from Colchester expires on Sunday, when his contract expires with the League Two side. His future is complicated: United want to keep him, and Colchester have issued a letter of retention and offered him a new contract, so if he signs that, he could realistically return to United on loan for the rest of the season.

As he is an U-23 player, and Colchester want to keep him, they would be entitled to pursue compensation if he signs for someone else, which would rule out a permanent move to United.

The transfer window in the League of Ireland opens on July 1, which is Monday, and United are closer to completing the singing of at least two players, but both of those players are with a club outside of the league and so are under contract until June 30 (Sunday), and nothing can be finalised until those contracts expire.

The duo in question are thought to be the Glentoran duo of Bobby Burns – who plays in Kazeem’s position of left-back – and the striker, Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe, but until pen is put to paper on Monday, their move to Eamonn Deacy park is not guaranteed. Incidentally, Aouachria has gone in the other direction, having signed this week for the NIFL Premiership club.

Pictured: The Galway United wall blocks a free-kick from Evan Weir in their game against Drogheda United before the mid-season break. Photo: Iain McDonald.

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