Galway United F.C.
Galway United Football Club (Irish: Cumann Peile Ghaillimh Aontaithe) is an Irish association football club based in Galway. They play in the League of Ireland First Division. They were founded as Galway Rovers F.C. during the 1930s. They made their League of Ireland debut in 1977–78 and changed their name to Galway United in 1981–82. After suffering financial difficulties, the club dropped out of the League of Ireland after the 2011 season but in 2014 Galway United returned after initially playing as Galway F.C. for a season.
|Full name||Galway United Football Club|
|Ground||Eamonn Deacy Park|
|Capacity||5,000 (3,300 seats)|
|League||League of Ireland First Division|
Galway United F.C. were founded as Galway Rovers F.C. in the Claddagh district of Galway. The club's website claims the club was founded in 1937. However, according to a Galway Advertiser report, the club was active in 1933, winning a local junior competition known as the Celtic Shield. The first recorded mention of a Rovers team dates back to a meeting at 28 Dominick Street on 20 September 1898 but it's not known if this was related to the future Rovers club  By 1937 Rovers were fielding youth teams as well as a junior side. Rovers won the Connacht Junior Cup in 1958 and they also played in the Western League. Rovers first gained national attention when they were invited to play in the 1976–77 League of Ireland Cup. In 1977–78 they made their debut in the League of Ireland. They played their first League of Ireland game on 28 August 1977 at Terryland Park against St. Patrick's Athletic. Eamonn Deacy scored Rovers' first League of Ireland goal on 2 October 1977. In 1980–81 Rovers reached the final of the League of Ireland Cup, but lost on penalties to Dundalk.
In the 1981–82 season, Galway Rovers changed their name to Galway United and under their new name, the club reached two cup finals in successive seasons. United made their first appearance in an FAI Cup final in 1984–85 but lost 1–0 to Shamrock Rovers. In 1985–86 United became founder members of the League of Ireland Premier Division and finished second behind Shamrock Rovers in the new division's inaugural season. In 1985–86 United won its first major trophy after defeating Dundalk 2–0 in the League of Ireland Cup final. Denis Bonner and Paul McGee scored the vital goals.
Galway United made a good start to the 1990s, winning their first FAI Cup and qualifying for Europe for a third time. In the 1990–91 FAI Cup final at Lansdowne Road, United defeated Shamrock Rovers 1–0. With five minutes to go on the clock, captain Johnny Glynn scored a late goal. In 1991–92 United was relegated to the First Division for the first time, but the following season, 1992–93, they returned to the Premier Division after winning the First Division title and the League of Ireland First Division Shield. The club finished 1993-94 in a respectable 3rd place.
In 1995–96 United were relegated for a second time. In 1996–97 United won the League of Ireland Cup defeating Cork City 4-2 over two legs along with the First Division Shield. It was the second time United had won both trophies.
United remained in the First Division until 1998–99 when, under Don O'Riordan, they were promoted to the Premier Division after finishing as runners-up in the First Division to Drogheda United.
The 2000s were not a successful decade for Galway United. Ten different managers took charge of United during this era and, between them, they managed to win just one amateur trophy, the 2007–08 Connacht Senior Cup. In 2001–02 United were relegated to the League of Ireland First Division and they did not return to the Premier Division until 2007  In April 2005 United appointed Nick Leeson as commercial manager. He then became general manager in late November 2005 and by July 2007 he had become the club's CEO. By the end of the decade United were joined in the League of Ireland by two other Galway–based teams, Mervue United and Salthill Devon.
By 2010 Galway United had debts estimated to be between €35,000 and €70,000. In 2011, after Nick Leeson resigned as CEO, the Galway United board of directors and the Galway United Supporters Trust, which had been established in 2001, came to an agreement under which the latter group took over financial responsibility for the club and the day-to-day running of the team. However, after the 2011 League of Ireland Premier Division season, in which Galway United lost 32 out of 36 games, this arrangement broke down. In December 2011 it was announced that Galway United would not be competing in the 2012 League of Ireland First Division season. Meanwhile, GUST unsuccessfully applied to join the League of Ireland as an independent club and continued to support the Galway United team playing in the League of Ireland U19 Division.
In 2012 a report commissioned by the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) recommended that Galway city and County Galway should be represented in the League of Ireland by a single club or team based at Eamonn Deacy Park. The O'Connor Report also recommended that GUST, Salthill Devon, Mervue United and the Galway Football Association, should work together to form such a club. GUST was reluctant to support this "merger" but eventually agreed.
Following the conclusion of the 2013 season, both Mervue United and Salthill Devon withdrew from the League of Ireland First Division to make way for a team known as Galway F.C. A new board of directors was established featuring representatives from GUST, Salthill Devon, Mervue United and the GFA. In 2014 Galway played in the First Division and after finishing third and winning a play-off they gained promotion to the 2015 League of Ireland Premier Division. Before the start of the season Galway F.C. was renamed Galway United. In 2015 the club had the opportunity to record a third League of Ireland Cup success when they played St. Patrick's Athletic in the final at Eamonn Deacy Park, however they lost the tie 4-3 in a penalty shoot out following a scoreless draw.
On 27 October 2017, Galway United were relegated to the League of Ireland First Division after a 4–3 loss to Dundalk in their final game of the 2017 League of Ireland Premier Division at Eamonn Deacy Park. Despite finishing the 2017 season in 10th place, a normally safe position, a change in league format ahead of the 2018 season meant that this what not enough for the club to retain its place in the top flight.
Galway United's principal home ground is Eamonn Deacy Park, previously known as Terryland Park. In 1993 while Terryland Park underwent redevelopment, Galway United played their matches at the Galway Sportsgrounds and at Crowley Park. In 1985 Galway United also played a home European game at the Sportsgrounds. On the other two occasions United qualified for Europe they played their home games at the home grounds of Carraroe GAA and Ballinderreen GAA.
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
|Assistant Manager||Colin Fortune|
|Assistant Coach||Johnny Glynn|
|First Team Coach||Liam Kearney|
|Goalkeeping Coach||Gianluca Aimi|
|S&C Coach||Danny Broderick|
|Under-19 Manager||Nigel Keady|
|Under-19 Coach||Gerry Heaney|
|Under-17 Manager||Gary O'Connor|
|Under-17 Coach||Paul Sinnott|
|Under-17 Goalkeeping Coach||Adrian Cronin|
|Under-15 Manager||Martin Devlin|
|Under-15 Coach||Gerry Martin|
|Under-13 Manager||Brendan O Connor|
|Under-13 Coach||Jason Murphy|
|Kit manager||David O Leary|
|Office Manager||Mike Daly|
|Media Officer||Vinny O'Connor|
|Graphic Designer||Morgan O'Brien|
|European Cup Winners' Cup|
|1985–86||European Cup Winners' Cup||1R||Lyngby||2–3||0–1||2–4|
|1991–92||European Cup Winners' Cup||QR||Odense||0–3||0–4||0–7|
Shirt sponsors and manufacturersEdit
|Year||Kit manufacturer||Shirt partner|
|2003||Radisson SAS Hotel Galway|
|2014||Macron||Comer Property Management|
Notable former playersEdit
Nuig Engineering Student of the year: Caoilfhionn O’Dea
- Republic of Ireland senior internationals
- League of Ireland XI representatives
- Republic of Ireland U23 internationals
- Republic of Ireland U21 internationals
- Republic of Ireland U19 internationals
- Republic of Ireland U18 internationals
- Other senior internationals
- League of Ireland Premier Division
- Runners Up: 1985–86: 1
- FAI Cup
- Winners: 1990–91: 1
- Runners Up: 1984–85: 1
- League of Ireland Cup
- Winners: 1985–86, 1996–97: 2
- Runners Up: 1979–80, 2015: 2
- League of Ireland First Division
- League of Ireland First Division Shield: 2
- Winners: 1992–93, 1996–97: 2
- Connacht Senior League
- Winners: 1984–85, 1985–86, 1987–88: 3
- Runners Up: 1986–87, 1993–94: 2
- Connacht Senior Cup
- Winners: 1984–85, 1995–96, 2007–08: 3
- Connacht Senior League Challenge Cup
- Winners: 1998–99: 1
- Runners Up: 1986–87, 1993–94: 2
- Connacht Junior Cup
- Winners: 1957–58: 1
- Runners Up: 1946–47: 1
- Galway Vindicator and Connaught Advertiser, 24 September 1898, page 3, column 1
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- "RTÉ Sport: Rovers and Galway in new Premiership". RTÉ News.
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- Penrose, Gareth. "GUST vote to remain independent – Extratime.ie – League of Ireland". Extratime.ie. Archived from the original on 8 April 2014.
- "Mervue United swansong shines a light on FAI mismanagement". www.goal.com. 18 October 2013. Retrieved 22 March 2015.
- "Football's comin' home — compromise reached as Galway FC applies to league". www.advertiser.ie. 12 September 2013. Retrieved 25 March 2015.
- McDonnell, Daniel (19 September 2015). "St Patrick's Athletic crowned EA Sports Cup champions after penalty drama". independent.ie. Retrieved 10 December 2019.
- "Galway United relegated following seven-goal thriller against Dundalk". Irish Independent. 27 October 2017. Retrieved 31 October 2017.
- "Balls Remembers The Time A Small GAA Ground Held A European Cup Winners Cup Match". www.balls.ie. 29 July 2015. Retrieved 26 August 2016.
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