By Oisin Bradley
Galway United have started 2021 in a similar manner to how they saw out 2020, with an influx of new faces in and around the squad for the SSE Airtricity League First Division season.
In total, three new players have been added to John Caulfield’s panel in preparation for the new campaign, with the most recent man to put pen to paper being ex-Derry City, Shamrock Rovers and Cork City man Conor McCormack.
McCormack is someone who Caulfield will likely look to to add a sense of experience and professionalism to the dressing room. 30-year-old McCormack had been on the books at Manchester United in his early days, and also has plenty of medals in his back pocket, boasting two League of Ireland Premier Division medals from his time at Cork City and Shamrock Rovers, as well as 12 other trophies.
McCormack and Caulfield have previous history, having both been at Cork City between 2017 and 2019, and per the wily midfielder, they’ll be hoping to replicate their success in Turners Cross on the banks of the Corrib.
“John is a great manager, you can see what he did with Cork City, we had great success there together. I spent three years playing under him down there, now John’s come to Galway United, and hopefully we can replicate that success here.”
McCormack is no stranger to the rigours of Irish football, although this will be his first stint in the second division of Irish football. The 30-year-old departs the Brandywell with 282 First Division appearances since 2011, and will hoping to add to that as the men in maroon target a place in the top flight in 2022.
Caulfield will be looking to tap into this astute footballing brain as he builds a promising squad for the season.
“Conor has got great leadership qualities, he’s a top player on the park and with the young squad that we have, I think he’s a perfect fit to come into what we’re trying to build at the club,” Caulfield said as he lauded the new man.
“Conor is someone that our young players can look up to, because he’s a thorough professional. We’re really excited to have him at the club.”
Another fresh face who lends a dearth of experience to the Tribesmen’s cause is Conor Kearns. Kearns may be a youngster in goalkeeping terms, but having previously landed the First Division title with UCD in 2018, he’ll be looking to lift the trophy once again for the Terryland outfit.
Christmas Eve saw the return of Colin Kelly to Eamonn Deacy park for a second stint at the club. The teenager had a brief spell at Dalymount Park with the Bohemians Under-19s, and will be looking to impress the United fans and make a more lasting impact having gained more experience away from the town of the tribes.
It hasn’t just been the playing staff that have seen an influx of new faces, as there have been additions to the coaching ticket also. Lisa Fallon links up with John Caulfield once more having returned from London, where she was head coach at the London City Lionesses, while the club’s former Under-17 manager Gary O’Connor makes the step up to the senior backroom team.