Galway United refine squad for Premier Division

Maurice Nugent of Galway United, at Virgin Media Television Studios in Ballymount, Dublin. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Maurice Nugent of Galway United, at Virgin Media Television Studios in Ballymount, Dublin. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Galway United is putting the finishing touches to its squad ahead of their return to the Premier League.

In Westport last Saturday, a number of triallists played in attack in the 1-0 defeat to Sligo Rovers. Manager John Caulfield acknowledged it was an area in which they were looking to increase their squad depth.

‘We are well stocked in a number of positions. We have had the scenario of only having Walshy and Wassim [in attack]. It is an area where we need to improve on. We had a lad the other day who came on. It looks like we are close to signing him. We are still looking probably to add another player to our squad. We are hoping that we will have something done in the next ten days.’

As it happened, it was former United striker Wilson Waweru who stole through and bundled the ball home for the game’s only goal just past the hour mark. Nevertheless, Caulfield was content with his side’s showing in an open contest.

‘The game was quite open. We had a few chances, [Ed] McGinty made one great save. They had two good chances where Joe Wright made two good saves. It was an even match. There was some stuff we did well but other stuff we didn’t do well. We conceded a soft goal which is unlike us.’

The former Millwall ‘keeper certainly impressed between the sticks. He adds strength to the goalkeeping department that was manned so brilliantly by Brendan Clarke last year. The manager was sanguine about the outcome of the game, insisting the focus of January was on the programme being undertaken by the squad.

‘You are training all week and doing a lot more heavy training than you would be going in to a league match. It is [pre-season] more to see who is showing up well. You are trying to get the balance. Whether you won or lost, you are not getting carried away.’

The most striking aspect of the contest was the number of chances created by United, particularly as they pushed for an equaliser in the second. While pleasing, Caulfield did sound some concern that none of these chances were capitalised upon.

‘The one area that was disappointing was that we did create quite a few opportunities. In the second half there were a number of balls that went across the six-yard box that were waiting to be tapped in but we didn’t tap them in. We are aware that in the Premier Division if we get chances like that and we don’t take them, we will be in trouble.’

There are only two pre-season games left for United to hone their shooting boots before the start of the season. They travel to Longford this Saturday for another important work-out.


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