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PREVIEW | Shelbourne

Galway United welcome Shelbourne to Eamonn Deacy Park on Friday night for the opening game of the 2019 SSE Airtricity League First Division season.

Alan Murphy’s squad are raring to go on the eve of the First Division curtain-raiser against title favourites Shelbourne.

United come into the new season having gone through a transformation in recent months. A hungry young squad has been assembled, back-boned by a number of experienced players.

A carnival atmosphere is expected at Eamonn Deacy Park with a large crowd expected, as the club seeks to rekindle the old tradition of walking up the Dyke Road on match night.

“It has been a long off-season and pre-season, with over 150 days without competitive football,” Murphy told

“We have the champions elect at home in the first game of the season and it’s a brilliant one to start with for the team, the city and county, to encourage people to come out and get behind their club.

“Both players and management are really looking forward to it, we’ve prepared well and are in good spirits. A lot of work and a lot of development has been done both on and off the pitch in the last 150 days. The identity of the club has changed dramatically in that period.

“It’s hugely important that a big crowd from the city and county get behind the players on Friday night. It’s paramount to the project, we’re trying to develop locally based players that are identifiable within the community and that have confidence in their our own ability.

“We’ll create a product on the pitch that Galway United fans can identify with and that they can come up here and be guaranteed that they will see hard work and application.”

“It needed that change of dynamic and character. We needed to really transform that after last year.

“Now we find ourselves in a very different situation where all the players in the squad want to be there and want to prove themselves. They want to be involved in something special as a group of players, the team element, which had been forgotten in the last while.

“I think we have a great group of players that are pulling together, that are really excited to create something as a group,” Murphy concluded.

United will be without the injured duo of Andrew Peters (ankle) and Conor Layng (cruciate), while Jeff McGowan (hamstring) is doubtful for the fixture.

Referee: Eoghan O’Shea
Assistant: Alan Sherlock
Assistant: Declan Toland
Fourth official: John McLoughlin