Classifieds Advertise Archive Subscriptions Family Announcements Photos Digital Editions/Apps
Connect with us

Sports

United’s new signing and city native Folan is eager to make up for lost time

Published

on

Galway United's Stephen Folan who plans to make the most of his latest opportunity in League of Ireland football. Photo: JoeO’Shaughnessy.

“When I came home to Ireland and to Limerick, I was getting paid a fraction of what I was getting in England, but it was probably the happiest I had been as I was playing every week.

“I had a sense in the team, a belonging, because I was playing, whereas over there when you are playing reserve team football, you might only have a game every couple of weeks and you know yourself you are a million miles away from the first team, so you are kind of just punching the clock and picking up the cheque,” he says.

His performances across two seasons for Limerick earned him a move to Sligo Rovers at the start of 2015, and while the north west club struggled, Folan was playing well, and secured a move to title-chasing Cork City. And then fate struck again.

“I didn’t really kick a ball when I was down there which was probably again down to my own doing. I had a lot going on off the field, with my family – my dad was diagnosed with cancer back in March and he passed away on September 1,” he says – he shares the same first name with his father, a man who was steeped in local football.

“I was down there for about six weeks and I was getting fit, I got onto the pitch two or three times, I was probably pushing for a start but my father passed away and I came home and that was very hard to deal with.

“I went back down after the funeral but mentally and physically I just wasn’t there – probably for the most of last season, mentally and physically I don’t think I was at it, but I am here at home now to rectify that and get back to where I was,” he says.

He has enjoyed pre-season at United – “it was tough but it was fair, everything was done properly and efficiently and I like Tommy and Leo’s ethos of trying to play and be the best you can be,” he says of the United manager and assistant manager, Messrs Dunne and Tierney.

He knows he has been handed not only a second, but a third, chance at building a career. At 23, he is still young enough to make the big breakthrough, and he still has his sights set on making it in England, but he intends on enjoying his time at his home-time club first.

“I always wanted to play for my home town team, whether it was at the start of my career or end of my career, I always wanted to play for them and I think now is the right environment to be at home and to be playing.

“I don’t see playing for my home team as extra pressure. I’m back home in my comfort zone, I have my friends and family around me so I have that support network.

“I have been away for eight years, there were times I probably made bad decisions but it was out of pure boredom, but as you get older and get more experience, you learn more what you can and can do and what your body can and can’t do – you don’t need to be going out gallivanting with friends, when you are around family and friends, you can just call around to their house or they can call around to you. It’s a maturity thing, and I think I have grown up,” he says.

He name checks players like Shane Long, Wes Hoolahan, David Forde, James McClean, and Seamus Coleman, senior internationals who came up through the League of Ireland ranks, and he believes he can join that list one day, but if he doesn’t, it won’t be the end of the world.

“It is definitely a dream of mine to go back across, but if it never happens and I play league of Ireland for the rest of my career, so be it. I’m playing and I’m happy, and I think happiness is the key.

“You see a lot of players who are not happy – when you are happy, you play your best football, that’s what I believe so it is just about finding what makes you tick, sticking with it and working hard and see where it takes you.”

He is happy now, and is looking forward to the season ahead. A happy Stephen Folan will mean United will have a top-class player hungry to prove himself again, and that can only be good news for both club and man.

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

CITY TRIBUNE

United make short work of Wexford FC in mis-match

Published

on

Galway United’s top scorer Stephen Walsh who twice hit the target in Friday's First Division win over Wexford FC.

Wexford FC 0

Galway United 4

WE’RE not yet at the half-way point in the season, but Galway United are playing like a side that will lift the First Division title come October. John Caulfield’s team made it six wins on the spin in Ferrycarrig Park last Friday.

Such was United’s dominance from the first whistle, the only thing Wexford were in with a shout of winning was the half-time raffle, and even then, the winner had Galway loyalties with the prize being won by the grandmother of Wexford native but United midfielder, Mikie Rowe.

United made one change to the side which trounced Cobh Ramblers the previous week, Gary Boylan coming in to start in a new formation which saw him play in the hole just between frontman, Stephen Walsh, and the attacking midfield trio of Wilson Waweru, Dave Hurley, and Ed McCarthy.

It was United’s second successive away game, and just like that trip to Cobh, this game was as good as over by half-time with the Tribesmen once again taking a 3-0 lead into the dressing room.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

Continue Reading

CITY TRIBUNE

O’Brien and McGowan make para-rowing history

Published

on

Steven McGowan and Katie O'Brien pictured in Italy with club coaches, Mike Gaffney and Conor Moloney.

Two members of Galway Rowing Club made history last weekend when they formed Ireland’s first competitive para-rowing crew as they attended a training camp in Italy, before competing in a para-rowing regatta.

Katie O’Brien from Clarinbridge was joined by clubmate, Roscommon native Steven McGowan, as they took what they hope is another step towards qualifying for the 2024 Paralympics in Paris.

The pair competed in the PR2 (back and arms) category in their first international para-rowing regatta in Gavirate in northern Italy, which was made possible by Galway Rowing Club’s move to actively support Rowing Ireland’s Paralympic rowing programme for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

O’Brien is a renowned oarswoman, and has competed on her own in the 1X in para-rowing, but there are no single seat boats in the Paralympics, so she and McGowan have joined forces in a new partnership.

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

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

 

Continue Reading

CITY TRIBUNE

United seeking seventh win on the trot in home tie with Athlone Town

Published

on

Galway United’s Conor McCormack in action against Kurtis Byrne of Athlone Town last season. The teams clash in the First Division at Eamonn Deacy Park on Friday evening.

JOHN Caulfield is preaching a message of patience ahead of his side’s home game with Athlone Town on Friday (7.45pm), a game which could see his side match the club record of seven consecutive wins.

That run was set in 2006, when United finished third in the First Division under Tony Cousins, and this Friday they ‘only’ need to beat the division’s basement side, and a side without a win this season, to match that run of a magnificent seven wins.

It is that kind of talk, however, that Caulfield is keen to stamp out, pointing out that, under new interim manager Dermot Lennon, the Midlands side have improved in recent weeks, and have only been beaten by a single goal in their last three games.

Longford Town edged the Midlands El Classico last weekend by the odd goal in three; Cork City won on a matching 2-1 score in the previous week, their winner coming with the last kick of the game; while Waterford scraped to a 1-0 win at home to De Town the week before that again.

“We have to show patience, we have to be strong from the start and impose our game, but we have to be patient,” the United manager told Tribune Sport this week.

“We need to keep our composure, keep to our game plan, keep our patience, and I would say that to the crowd as well, they need to be patient as Athlone will come and sit in and look to hit us on the counter-attack, and it will be up to us to break them down,” he said.

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

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Continue Reading

Local Ads

Local Ads

Advertisement
Advertisement

Facebook

Advertisement

Trending