Stakes piling high for United

With each passing week Galway United's SSE Airtricity League premier division games increase in significance with tomorrow's trip to Ballybofey for a clash against Finn Harps hugely important, (8pm kick off ).

The stakes are piled seriously high for United, who need to deliver a victory in Donegal.

Important fixtures are arriving thick and fast for Shane Keegan's charges, who host Dundalk at Eamonn Deacy Park in an EA Sports Cup semi-final on Monday afternoon (4pm ).

It has been an eventful spell for United, unfortunate to be beaten by Cork City last Friday, and losing Lee Grace and Vinny Faherty to Shamrock Rovers and Sligo Rovers respectively. Grace was United's most effective performer throughout this campaign, but the club reluctantly opted to accept an offer from the Hoops for the excellent central defender.

Moycullen native Faherty has been a key figure in various Galway teams during the past decade, but he has signed for the Bit O'Red until the end of the season.

“Vinny hasn’t featured quite as much as he would’ve liked to in the last few weeks," Keegan explains. "The freshness of a new club is what he was after.

“I would like to compliment Vinny on how he has conducted himself since the transfer speculation began.

"He has been thoroughly professional in the way he has trained while the talks were on-going between the clubs. I’d like to thank him for his service to Galway United and wish him well in his career.”

United have negotiated a loan deal for Brighton & Hove Albion attacker Jonah Ayunga, who has been with Sligo Rovers since February.

"It's great that we've picked up our goalscoring in the last couple of games, but we haven't been scoring enough goals this year," Keegan says. "So we were looking to add a bit more in the final third.

"Jonah is very quick and a major threat in behind. Because he's big and strong, he can also do the hold up play as well. Four league goals this season isn't a bad return. The real eye catcher was the goal he scored against us up in Sligo.

"With Jonah, it was a case of making sure that if he was coming in, that he was coming in really up for the fight ahead and with the mindset that he could contribute to keeping us in the premier division and I certainly think he can do that."

Ayunga is hoping to make an impact Corribside. "It all happened very quickly over the last few days," Ayunga says. "In the past few weeks in Sligo, I haven't been starting. Galway made me aware of their interest, so for me personally, it's the best place to be.

"It's about getting game time, goals, and helping to keep the club in the premier division, so hopefully I can help towards that. Galway have been in good form of late, so my aim is to work my way into the team to contribute goals between now and the end of the season."

Currently four points from safety, United trail Friday’s opponents Harps by five, so Keegan’s team must earn a win in the north west. Harps, managed by Galwegian Ollie Horgan, are a physical outfit, who continue to eke out results in a determined fashion.

•Galway United Friends Co-op is running a bus to Finn Harps on Friday, leaving The Dail Bar, Middle Street, at 3pm. Supporters can be picked up en route. Contact Ronan Coleman (087 ) 6972823 or Dominick Walsh (087 ) 9163438.


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