With Galway set to compete under the name Galway United F.C. next season, Shane McDonnell takes us from the beginnings of Galway F.C. to where they are now as a newly promoted Premier Division team.
At the beginning of the 2014 season, Galway F.C entered the first division in the place of the other Galway clubs, Mervue United and Salthill, and it’s just gotten better since then. They have earned 3rd place in the first division, beaten Shelbourne 4-1 over a 2-legged promotion play-off and beat UCD in the promotion/relegation play-off to gain promotion to the Premier Division for the 2015 season.
To the delight of the club and its supporters, teams such as Dundalk, Shamrock Rovers and St Patrick’s Athletic will make the journey to Eamon Deacy Park in Galway next year. The club are considered the spiritual successors to Galway United who left the league system in 2011 following their relegation from the Premier Division and eventually their bankruptcy and cease of existence.
In 2012, the Galway United Supporters’ Trust (GUST) attempted to enter the League of Ireland but were denied entry after they missed the deadline to apply for the league. But in 2013, talks were held between the GUST, Salthill Devon F.C., and Mervue United F.C., about having a single team from Galway to represent the city in the League of Ireland.
In late 2013, Galway F.C was formed and submitted a request to be accepted into the League of Ireland for the 2014 season. In March of 2014, the club played their first competitive game against Longford Town in a 1-0 defeat in front of nearly 2,500 spectators in Eamon Deacy Park.
Under the stewardship of Tommy Dunne, the club have gained promotion to the Premier Division in their very first season, finishing 3rd and beating Shelbourne and UCD in the promotion/relegation play-off.
Is there a new era set to rise from the ashes of Galway United?
Shane McDonnell, Pundit Arena