United given green light to launch

Galway United, having succeeded in its appeal to retain premiership soccer status, will now hold its pre-season launch on Saturday at Elverys Sports, Headford Road, Galway (12.30pm ).

Manager Sean Connor and his new-look squad will be unveiled ahead of United's friendly against Sligo Rovers at the Showgrounds on Saturday (6pm ), while the premier league action is to open at Terryland Park on March 4 when United hosts St Patrick’s Athletic.

This week the club moved to secure its playing squad following last Thursday's successful appeal to an independent licensing appeals committee.

The latest confirmed signings are Shaun Kelly, who joins from Dundalk, and Alan Murphy.

Kelly, who made more than 60 appearances for Dundalk, was also part of the Irish u-23 set-up in 2010. Sean Connor introduced Kelly to the League of Ireland when he signed him for Dundalk in 2009 from Hearts.

Alan Murphy has re-signed for the club. United's second highest goalscorer of all time, Murphy missed the entire 2010 season with a persistent knee injury.

Familiar figures from last season, Gary Curran and Paul Sinnott, who made over 30 appearances for the club, have re-signed, in addition to Shane Keogh, who made four first-team appearances last season, having moved from Mervue United.

New signings confirmed this week include 22-years-old winger Karl Moore from UCD. With five years as a youngster at Manchester City, Moore is regarded as a significant capture. Although released from City, he has represented Ireland from u-15 to u-21 levels.

Steve Feeney has joined this season's squad and is familiar with Connor from his days at Sligo Rovers. Feeney has recently being playing with Sligo junior side Quayside Rovers, and usually plays in the centre of defence and midfield. Stephen Walsh, last year's Galway United Young Player of the Year, is also staying with United. The former Galway Hibs player joined last season.

Galway United president Michael D Higgins says the club now needs public support, having retained its premier division status for another season.

"Now is the time for Galwegians to come out and support the club at its home games," he says. "To have a club playing in the premier league is of massive benefit to Galway in every way. It is also a source of inspiration to all of those youngsters at the under-age level to know they can aspire to wearing a jersey for a club in the premier league.

" It should become a regular part of one’s diary to attend the home games in Terryland and the new administration in the club is anxious to make contact with schools, the arts community, and any other group interested in contributing to a new and exciting chapter in the history of Galway United."

Higgins says supporters are indebted to Galway United Supporters Trust's Ronan Coleman and and its members for all of their efforts in stabilising United this season. The trust has now taken over the day-to-day administration on a voluntary basis.

Season tickets will also be on sale at Saturday's launch, while application forms are available on-line at www.galwayunitedfc.ie, and from Terryland Park; O'Brien’s Newsagents, William Street, Galway; Claddagh & Celtic Jewellers, Quay Street, Galway; The Square Inn, Athenry; and O'Brien’s Hardware, Main Street, Loughrea. Adult and concession season tickets cost €99, with tickets for secondary school students €59.


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