Newly-crowned First Division champs United want to keep driving on


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Newly-crowned First Division champs United want to keep driving on Newly-crowned First Division champs United want to keep driving on

THE league title is wrapped up and there is the little matter of an FAI Cup semi-final against Bohemians on Saturday week, but there is still a job to do for Galway United when they host Athlone Town in the league this Friday (7.45pm).

Squad places for that cup showdown with Bohs – a first FAI Cup semi-final in 15 years for the club – will be up for grabs on Friday, while there is also the not insignificant matter of a proud 100% home record to protect and extend.

United are on a club-record 17 consecutive home wins – the 15 league games and two cup ties played at Eamonn Deacy Park so far this season, and with the league medal now secured, the new immediate target is maintaining that perfect record this Friday night.

“There is something in every game, there is no other way to prepare,” United assistant manager, Ollie Horgan, said after Monday night’s win over Finn Harps.

“I have never been involved in a team where you go and you didn’t try to win, probably this is a slightly different situation in that it is not so much that we have to win, but we want to win.

“These players want to win, and they don’t know any other way. That will continue on Friday, but we will have to be ready as we know Athlone are a handful, we know that from the game up there, we need everyone freshly recovered and ready to go on Friday night,” Horgan said.

United have won the three games between the sides this season, but it took an 85th minute goal from Dave Hurley to squeak home 1-0 in the most recent meeting between the sides back in July; while the Midlands side enjoyed a first league win at Eamonn Deacy Park in 25 years when snatching a 2-1 win in October at the tail end of last season.

The visitors come into the game with a little bit of urgency to their end-of-season plans, after they slipped to fifth in the table after their 4-1 defeat away to Treaty United last Friday, while Wexford won both their games on Friday and Monday to leapfrog them in the table.

Pictured: Galway United’s Stephen Walsh tussling for possession with Matthew Makinson of Finn Harps during Monday’s First Division tie at Eamonn Deacy Park. Photo: Joe O’Shaughnessy.

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