Galway United ready for new season start

John Caulfield's team host Shelbourne at Eamonn Deacy Park

Galway United manager John Caulfield is hopeful his team can make a positive SSE Airtricity League first division start against Shelbourne at Eamonn Deacy Park on Friday (7.45pm ).

With several signings made during the off-season, Caulfield wants his developing outfit to deliver in what promises to be a particularly interesting campaign.

"I think from our own point of view we have a new team and hopefully our supporters will be excited when they see the games live or on TV," Caulfield says. "It is a new challenge for us. We have worked really hard getting the team to gel. We feel that they are a brilliant bunch of guys with a fantastic attitude."

Caulfield is adamant Galway United can offer footballers a platform on which to thrive. "We have specifically targeted certain types of players to come into our club," Caulfield says. "The most important thing as I keep saying, you need players not only with talent, but they have to have the attitude, the will and want to get better. They have to push themselves to get better. For me after eight weeks of pre-season I have no doubt that I have seen that in the group."

Shelbourne have also made a string of high profile signings so Caulfield is expecting a demanding test on the banks of the Corrib.

"It doesn't really matter when we play Shels in my opinion, for us it is to make sure it is our first game of the season at home," Caulfield adds. "It is about us making sure we can go out to give the performance we believe the team has.

"Obviously Shelbourne are vastly experienced, they have invested heavily to go straight back up. You could argue and say they have a better team now than they had in the Premier Division last year, but so be it.

"The most important thing for us is we have to go out to play our own game, to play to the standards that we have set. If we do that, I think we will do well. It is all about consistency."

Last Friday during United's final pre-season win over Wexford FC, Francely Lomboto suffered a serious leg injury which will rule him out for a lengthy spell. "It was unfortunate for Francely, he is a tremendous young fella, a player we have lots of time for," Caulfield states.

"The positive is that he is a young lad, he is only 20. He had been doing very well in pre-season, but the most important thing is for us to support him, get him back as soon as we can training and making sure he makes a full recovery, that he puts the hard work in to get back.

"There is no doubt that he is a tremendous talent, even in the eight weeks of pre-season you could see with the full time training how much he had come on.

"He got a couple of goals in the pre-season games so he was learning and understanding the game better. It is a blow, particularly to himself as he is a very popular guy within the group.

"We wish him well and I have no doubt he has great determination. This will only be a minor setback once he gets back on the training pitch in three or four months time."

Caulfield is delighted important matches will now arrive thick and fast for United. "You are kicking off, you are playing every week," Caulfield says. "This is the adrenalin part now coming along, the off-season and pre-season is nice, but there isn't the same adrenalin flow.

"Certainly this is what it is about, as mad as it can be at times to be a manager this is what you live for and let Friday night roll on."


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