Galway United F.C.

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Galway United
Badge of Galway United FC (2013).png
Full nameGalway United Football Club
Nickname(s)The Tribesmen
Short nameUnited
GroundEamonn Deacy Park
Capacity5,001 (3,300 seats)
ChairmanJonathan Corbett
ManagerJohn Caulfield
LeagueLeague of Ireland First Division
WebsiteClub website
Current season

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 initially playing as Galway F.C. for a season.


Galway Rovers[edit]

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 [1] 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.[2][3][4][5][6]


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.[3][4][5][6][7]


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.[3][4][5][6][7]


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 [8] 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.[9][10] 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.[11]


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.[9][11][12][13] 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.[14][15][16]

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.[17] GUST was reluctant to support this "merger"[18] 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.[3][19][20] 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.[3] 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.[21]

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.[22] 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 was not enough for the club to retain its place in the top flight.[23]

It was announced on the 30th of March 2022, that the Comer Brothers would be taking majority ownership of the club. Following a vote of the supporters trust, 82% backed the move which would see the Comers take an 85% ownership stake in the club. They have announced an initial influx of half a million euro into the club with ambitions to take the club back to the Premier Division.


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.[3][24]


Current squad[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
1 GK Republic of Ireland IRL Conor Kearns
2 DF Republic of Ireland IRL Conor O'Keeffe
3 DF Republic of Ireland IRL Stephen Walsh
4 DF Republic of Ireland IRL Charlie Lyons
5 DF Republic of Ireland IRL Killian Brouder
6 DF Spain ESP Diego Portilla
8 FW Republic of Ireland IRL Mikie Rowe
9 FW Spain ESP Manu Dimas
10 MF Republic of Ireland IRL David Hurley
11 MF United States USA Shane Doherty
12 DF Republic of Ireland IRL James Finnerty (on loan from Bohemians)
14 MF Republic of Ireland IRL Ronan Manning
15 FW Republic of Ireland IRL David Tarmey
16 GK Republic of Ireland IRL Matthew Connor
No. Pos. Nation Player
17 MF Madagascar MAD Bastien Héry (on loan from Finn Harps)
18 FW Republic of Ireland IRL Wilson Waweru
19 FW Republic of Ireland IRL Francely Lomboto
20 DF Republic of Ireland IRL Evan O'Connor
21 DF Republic of Ireland IRL Oisín O'Reilly
22 MF Republic of Ireland IRL Conor McCormack (captain)
23 GK Republic of Ireland IRL Conor Brann
24 MF Republic of Ireland IRL Ed McCarthy
26 DF Republic of Ireland IRL Ronan Bambara
27 MF England ENG Max Hemmings
28 FW Republic of Ireland IRL Rob Manley
29 DF New Zealand NZL Adam Thomas (on loan from Shelbourne)
31 DF Scotland SCO Mark Russell

Out on loan[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
7 DF Republic of Ireland IRL Gary Boylan (on loan at Finn Harps until the end of the 2022 season)

Technical staff[edit]

Position Name
Manager John Caulfield
Assistant Manager Colin Fortune
Goalkeeping Coach Gianluca Aimi
Performance Coach Danny Broderick
Physiotherapist Richard Grier
Video Analyst Robbie Crosbie
Head of Youth Development Johnny Glynn
Academy Head of Goalkeeping Alan McNevin
Under-19 Manager Brendan O'Connor
Under-19 Coach Paul Sinnott
Under-19 Coach John O'Connor
Under-17 Manager Martin Devlin
Under-17 Coach Gerry Martin
Under-17 Coach Gerry Heaney
Under-15 Manager Anthony O'Neill
Under-15 Coach Colm Branagan
Under-15 Coach Michael Flannery
Under-14 Manager Xavi Vazquez
Under-14 Coach Gary Traynor
Under-14 Coach Jason Murphy


Position Staff
Chairman Jonathan Corbett
Secretary John Flannery
Media Officer Jonathan Higgins
Graphic Designer Morgan O'Brien
Content Creation Paul Mladjenovic

European record[edit]


Competition Matches W D L GF GA
UEFA Cup 2 0 0 2 2 8
European Cup Winners' Cup 4 0 0 4 2 11
TOTAL 6 0 0 6 4 19


Season Competition Round Opponent Home Away Aggregate
1985–86 European Cup Winners' Cup 1R Denmark Lyngby 2–3 0–1 2–4
1986–87 UEFA Cup 1R Netherlands Groningen 1–3 1–5 2–8
1991–92 European Cup Winners' Cup QR Denmark Odense 0–3 0–4 0–7

Shirt sponsors and manufacturers[edit]

Year Kit manufacturer Shirt partner
1984/85 Adidas Glen C
1990/91 Wrangler
1991/92 Spall
1992/93 O'Neills
1993/94 McDonald's Gaillimh
1994/95 Adidas
1995/96 Digital
1999/00 Compaq
2000/01 Prostar
2001/02 Stanno
2002/03 Erreà Hewlett-Packard
2003 Radisson SAS Hotel Galway
2004 Umbro Harmack Developments
2007 O'Connell Drylining
2008 Rival
2009 Papa John's
2014 Macron Comer Property Management
2016 Uhlsport
2019 Puma
2021 O'Neills


Notable former players[edit]

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




  1. ^ Galway Vindicator and Connaught Advertiser, 24 September 1898, page 3, column 1
  2. ^ "Galway Rovers soccer teams". 23 December 2008. Retrieved 2 April 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "Galway United FC – Club History". Retrieved 25 March 2016.
  4. ^ a b c "Ireland – Ireland League Cup 1973/74-2006". Retrieved 2 April 2016.
  5. ^ a b c "Republic of Ireland League Tables". Archived from the original on 21 February 2008. Retrieved 18 March 2016.
  6. ^ a b c Graham, Alex (2005). Football in the Republic of Ireland a Statistical Record 1921–2005. Soccer Books Limited. ISBN 1-86223-135-4.
  7. ^ a b "Ireland - FA of Ireland Cup 1921/22-1993/94". Archived from the original on 25 May 2015. Retrieved 25 March 2015.
  8. ^ "RTÉ Sport: Rovers and Galway in new Premiership". RTÉ News.
  9. ^ a b Brendan White (2 February 2011). "Leeson resigns Galway Utd CEO position". Archived from the original on 14 May 2012. Retrieved 23 February 2012.
  10. ^ "Galway United FC have appointed Mr Nick Leeson as the club's new Commercial Manager". 17 April 2005. Retrieved 6 April 2016.
  11. ^ a b "Local competition adds to Galway United's woes". When Saturday Comes. 17 December 2010. Retrieved 6 April 2016.
  12. ^ "Leeson will remain in charge at Galway". 24 November 2010. Retrieved 6 April 2016.
  13. ^ "About GUST". Archived from the original on 6 April 2016. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
  14. ^ "Galway Utd withdraw licence application". Retrieved 22 December 2011.
  15. ^ Malone, Emmet (14 December 2011). "Troubled Galway opt out of league for a year". Retrieved 22 December 2011.
  16. ^ "Galway fans apply to form new club". RTÉ News. 13 December 2011. Archived from the original on 8 January 2012.
  17. ^ "One club or nothing warns FAI on impasse". 27 August 2013. Retrieved 26 March 2015.
  18. ^ Penrose, Gareth. "GUST vote to remain independent – – League of Ireland". Archived from the original on 8 April 2014.
  19. ^ "Mervue United swansong shines a light on FAI mismanagement". 18 October 2013. Retrieved 22 March 2015.
  20. ^ "Football's comin' home — compromise reached as Galway FC applies to league". 12 September 2013. Retrieved 25 March 2015.
  21. ^ McDonnell, Daniel (19 September 2015). "St Patrick's Athletic crowned EA Sports Cup champions after penalty drama". Retrieved 10 December 2019.
  22. ^ "Galway United relegated following seven-goal thriller against Dundalk". Irish Independent. 27 October 2017. Retrieved 31 October 2017.
  23. ^ "League of Ireland to switch to ten-team format". 22 December 2016. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  24. ^ "Balls Remembers The Time A Small GAA Ground Held A European Cup Winners Cup Match". 29 July 2015. Retrieved 26 August 2016.
  25. ^ "Mayo Football League Roll Of Honour" (PDF). Retrieved 31 March 2016.
  26. ^ "Castlebar Celtic – Club History". Archived from the original on 5 April 2016. Retrieved 24 March 2015.

External links[edit]