McCormack optimistic about the future

Galway United captain Conor McCormack believes significant potential exists in the west

In the SSE Airtricity League possibilities exist for Galway United. Throughout the years United has traded on promise, but captain and talisman Conor McCormack believes something is stirring in the west of Ireland under John Caulfield’s stewardship.

“That is the reason John Caulfield came to this club,” McCormack says. “It is a bit of a sleeping giant for the last couple of years, he has been a very successful manager. He is a brilliant manager for me, I have played for him before.

“That is why I came here, he has the ambition to get this club back to where it should be. I want to be part of that plan, it is exactly why I came here. Everything is very exciting now, if we can get the results on the pitch there is no reason why we cannot go up.”

Friday’s 2-0 triumph over Bray Wanderers illustrated United’s combination of grit and guile. Goals from Stephen Walsh and David Hurley secured the full complement of spoils.

“I thought we played very well in the first half, we created a lot of opportunities to score,” McCormack reflects. “Thankfully we took one, the 'keeper made one or two other good saves. We went in with the lead, in the second half they threw caution to the wind, they came down here with nothing to lose, but it was a professional performance. We defended well and we took our chances which is the main thing.”

Ultimately seven wins and two draws have been registered in the opening 10 fixtures of the campaign which offers encouragement. “We are unlucky not to have more, a couple of mistakes where we have conceded goals, but in the last two games we have kept a clean sheet which is really, really important,” McCormack responds.

“It was brilliant to get off to a good start this year. We struggled a bit last year in the first five or six games, it took us a while to get going. Then when we did we got into our stride because we know we are a good team. We have worked really hard, we have great players here so it was vitally important that we got off to a good start.”

Preparation matters deeply according to McCormack. The fact that several of the United squad are now training full time for a second season counts. “We finished very strong in games if you look back, when we were behind we often came back to equalise or go on to get winners,” McCormack says.

“That is down to hard work, the fitness levels are top notch. We work really hard, in fine, fine detail. We watch every game very closely as a team and individually. We learn from our mistakes, in the last two games we have been brilliant, we have defended well, and we have taken our chances.

“There is great talent coming through the academy, some of the U19s are up training with us a few times and they don't look out of place. It is very important that there is a good youth academy coming through, local players. You have the likes of Stephen Walsh, it is great to have the likes of him, there is a good balance between the experienced and inexperienced lads.”

The decorated McCormack remains ready, willing, and able to assist emerging footballers. “I was a young player at one stage before when I was playing with a lot of senior players, they helped me through my first few games,” McCormack says.

“I enjoyed it and I loved it, I took every bit of experience from them. I've been around the league long enough and have been in different countries, playing in different cultures so I've seen it all.

“I try to help out as much as I can. I know when a player needs confidence or when a player needs a rocketing to get him up for it, but it is finding that balance too. Thankfully it has been working so far, long may it continue.”

McCormack is still leading by example.

**Listen to the full interview with Galway United captain Conor McCormack on this week's 'Cian on Sport' podcast available on Soundcloud, Spotify, and Apple Podcasts.


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