The Final Third

Alex Murphy made his last appearance for Galway United on Friday

Fitting farewell for talented teenager

It was an emotional Friday evening for Alex Murphy at Eamonn Deacy Park. Less than 48 hours before joining Newcastle United, Murphy's last appearance with Galway United included a fine display from the Annaghdown youngster in a 3-0 win over Cobh Ramblers.

That Murphy occupied a central role in the creation of two of the goals perfectly illustrated his ability. When withdrawn in the dying embers of the match teeanger Murphy, who made his first team debut 13 months ago, fittingly received a standing ovation.

After the game Murphy obliged those searching for autographs and photographs before being escorted to the car park by stewards and club officials. The manner in which Murphy has dealt with the cross channel interest and excitement augurs well. The man the ground is named after will have looked down from above with equal measures of pride and hope as another Galwegian tries to make an impact in England.

Training resumes

It is just over a month before the local junior and juvenile seasons commence. So the notices being shared on social media and elsewhere that training is resuming always brings a sense of anticipation.

Undoubtedly it is a time when clubs are busy planning and plotting for the new campaign, eager to attract recruits or coax footballers back for one more year. Play for as long as you can.

Representative teams competitive on the national stage

This is an encouraging time for football in Galway. With international assessments taking place at various age groups the fact that so many emerging players from the west are involved bodes well.

The Galway Football Association and local clubs deserve to be commended for their efforts in developing and assisting people on their sporting journeys. While the national underage leagues provide a good stage, the fact that the Galway FA's juvenile teams fared quite well in both girls and boys competitions is another source of optimism.

Galwegians delivering in Europe

Rory Gaffney continues to deliver handsomely for the standard bearers in this country, Shamrock Rovers. The Tuam native, who really flared to prominence with Limerick FC during their Thomond Park days is an instrumental figure for Stephen Bradley's team. Inventive and industrious, Gaffney has forged an excellent career in the game.

Former Galway United captain Colm Horgan remains a hugely effective contributor for Sligo Rovers, managed by Moycullen's John Russell. Those two gifted families have made a sterling contribution to sport Corribside. Julie-Ann Russell has been immense for Galway WFC since returning home from Australia. The fact that four Horgan brothers - Daryl, Colm, Kevin, and Chris - have played in the SSE Airtricity League during the past decade is a remarkable achievement too.


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