Long excited about West's potential

Emlyn Long has been appointed West United manager

New West United manager Emlyn Long.

New West United manager Emlyn Long.

As the Galway FA season edges closer new West United manager Emlyn Long is hopeful about making a significant impact.

With pre-season training this evening at O'Connor Park in the Swamp, Long believes there is real potential at the club. "I'm delighted to be back involved, I'm delighted to be with West," Long says.

"It came about very quick, I hadn't many intentions of doing anything this year, and the opportunity arose. When I talked to the guys down there I got a good feeling about it and it is a strong squad. I think there are certain areas where we can maybe bring it on from where it was before to see where we can go."

The fact that Galway United midfielder Mikie Rowe will be involved in a coaching role is another positive development according to Long, who has forged an interesting managerial career at various levels of the game.

"It is brilliant," Long replies. "When I started talking to the guys at West they had mentioned Mikie had made himself available for a coaching position and if it was something I would be interested in. Obviously Mikie is playing at a high level of the game, still competing there and looking for promotion. Hopefully they will get it this season. That was brilliant, obviously a freshness too.

"He is very young himself, still in the prime of his career, he will bring something to the table. I've met him a few times, I've had discussions with him, and we would be on the same page when it comes to how we view the game or how we view how a team should be preparing for a game.

"We are delighted to have him in, a great addition to the ticket, and we will obviously keep some of the guys there from last year too. We don't want to reinvent the wheel, we just want to look at areas where we can bring it on a bit. Certainly with Mikie there that will add to our ability to do that."

Long wants West to be serious challengers in a Galway FA premier division featuring a number of good quality outfits. "That is the aim," Long says. "You are going into every competition that you are in with the aim of competing in it and competing at the top level. That is the appetite from talking to the players. The players are all very enthusiastic, I went through with them where they felt there could be room for improvement.

"We will try to introduce that, starting this week in pre-season training. It is without a doubt the most supported club in the local league. That is a responsibility on the players, they have to live up to that. I think they want to repay that. Speaking to one or two of the players they felt maybe last year they didn't live up to expectations.

"There is a hunger within the group which is great. There was a lot of issues that were outside of football - Covid, guys away, serious injuries to important members of the squad. So there were a lot of factors; the larger division - some teams were maybe more cut off. All of these issues conspired, but I feel the ceiling for improvement is quite high with this group."

**Listen to the full interview with new West United manager Emlyn Long on this week's 'Cian on Sport' podcast available on Soundcloud, Spotify, and Apple Podcasts.


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