A bit like the scrolling text at the start of the first Star Wars film, Galway United begin their 2019 season at home to Shelbourne this Friday (7.45pm) with three simple words – A New Hope.
United open their campaign against a side they lost 3-0 away to on the last day of the 2018 season, and it could not a tougher opening, with Shelbourne starting the season as United did last year – installed as firm favourites to take First Division honours.
As for United, while the hope is for a successful season, the more realistic view is of a first season of building for the future, which manager, Alan Murphy, acknowledges.
“We have a lot of young, local players, sprinkled with some experienced players. I can’t guarantee success, but what I can guarantee is a team with heart and passion and a pride in the United jersey. They are very basic things, but maybe its not something you could have said of United sides in past seasons.
“It is not something that should even have to be said, but it is what it is, and it will be the case this year. I am not interested in fellas who are coming here solely for a job, I want fellas who want to do well and want the team to do well,” he said.
United started last season as favourites to make an immediate return to the Premier Division, having been relegated under the watch of Shane Keegan. They started well enough, with wins over Athlone Town and Cabinteely sandwiching an away draw against UCD; but they blew a two-goal lead away to Drogheda and also dropped points at home to Longford Town in their next two games.
For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.
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