Galway United F.C.
|Full name||Galway United Football Club|
|Ground||Eamonn Deacy Park|
|Capacity||5,000 (3,300 seats)|
|League||League of Ireland Premier Division|
|Website||Club home page|
Galway United Football Club (Irish: Cumann Peile Ghaillimh Aontaithe) is an Irish association football club based in Galway. They currently play in the League of Ireland Premier Division. They were originally 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. In 2014 a reformed Galway United, initially playing as Galway F.C., rejoined the league.
Galway United F.C. were originally founded as Galway Rovers F.C. in the Claddagh district of Galway. The clubs 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. 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.
The 1981–82 season saw Galway Rovers change their name to Galway United and under their new name, the club went on to reach 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 also became founder members of the League of Ireland Premier Division and went on to finish second behind Shamrock Rovers in the new division's inaugural season. In 1985–86 United also 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 1990s, winning their first FAI Cup and qualifying for Europe for a third time. However they subsequently spent much of the decade in the League of Ireland First Division. In the 1990–91 FAI Cup final at Lansdowne Road, United defeated Shamrock Rovers 1–0. With five minutes to go on the clock, Johnny Glynn tapped home a late goal. 1991–92 would see United relegated to the First Division, but the following season, 1992–93, saw them return to the Premier Division after winning both the First Division title and the League of Ireland First Division Shield. In 1995–96 United were relegated for a second time. In 1996–97 United won a double after winning both the League of Ireland Cup and the First Division Shield. It was the second time United had won both trophies. United would remain 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 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 also found themselves joined in the League of Ireland by two other Galway–based teams, Mervue United and Salthill Devon.
By 2010 Galway United were in serious debt, estimated to be any where 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 which saw the latter group take over financial responsibility for the club. They also took over the day-to-day running of the team. However, after a disastrous 2011 League of Ireland campaign, which saw Galway United lose 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 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 U–19 division. In 2012 an FAI commissioned report 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 initially 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 new 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 League of Ireland Premier Division. Before the start of the 2015 season Galway F.C. was renamed Galway United.
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 Galwegians RFC's Crowley Park. United also played some European games at the Galway Sportsgrounds
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Current technical staff
|Assistant manager||Leo Tierney|
|Assistant coach||Gary O'Connor|
|Goalkeeping coach||Mark Cobey|
|Fitness coach||Adrian Craddock|
|Kit manager||Dermot Ryan|
|Office Manager||Mike Daly|
|Media Officer||Vinny O'Connor|
|Graphic Designer||Morgan O'Brien|
Galway United in Europe
Under the stewardship of Tom Lally and Tony Mannion, Galway United qualified for the FAI Cup final. Shamrock Rovers F.C. were the victors in Dalymount Park on 28 April 1985. As Shamrock Rovers had already secured European qualification through their league title triumph, the place reserved in Europe for the FAI Cup winners fell to the runners-up. Rovers won 1-0 but United played Lyngby BK. Over two legs United lost 2-4. The second leg took place at Galway Sportsground. This following season the two title contenders went head to head in Terryland in a match which would ultimately decide the title. Three goals in the first 35 minutes handed the game to Rovers, who went on to win the game 3–1 and ultimately, the league. Galway United finished runners up and again qualified for Europe as Ireland's UEFA Cup representatives. Galway United's opponents in the UEFA Cup were FC Groningen, who at the time were one of the top sides in the Netherlands. They went on to win 8–2, with the home tie memorable for the fact that it was held in the Gaeltacht area of Carraroe, on a pitch that usually hosted the local Gaelic football team, An Cheathrú Rua. The game was played near a road to the sea in a rough landscape of stony walls. United were drawn against Odense BK in the European Cup Winners Cup. The first leg was held in the Galway village of Ballinderreen in front of a 6,000 crowd. Odense were much too strong for United and they went on to win the tie 7–0 on aggregate.
|1985–86||UEFA Cup Winners Cup First Round||Lyngby BK||0–1, 2–3 (2–4 agg.)|
|1986–87||UEFA Cup First Round||Groningen||1–5, 1–3 (2–8 agg.)|
|1991–92||UEFA Cup Winners Cup Qualifying Round||Odense||0–3, 0–4 (0–7 agg.)|
Shirt sponsors and manufacturers
|Year||Kit manufacturer||Shirt partner|
|2014||Macron||Comer Property Management|
Notable former players
- Republic of Ireland 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
- Republic of Ireland U17 internationals
- Other 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: 1
- 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 Rovers soccer teams". www.advertiser.ie. 23 December 2008. Retrieved 2 April 2016.
- "Galway United FC – Club History". galwayunitedfc.ie. Retrieved 25 March 2016.
- "Ireland - Ireland League Cup 1973/74-2006". www.rsssf.com. Retrieved 2 April 2016.
- "Republic of Ireland League Tables". www.rsssf.com. Retrieved 18 March 2016.
- Graham, Alex. Football in the Republic of Ireland a Statisical Record 1921-2005. Soccer Books Limited. ISBN 1-86223-135-4.
- "Ireland - FA of Ireland Cup 1921/22-1993/94". www.rsssf.com. Retrieved 25 March 2015.
- "RTÉ Sport: Rovers and Galway in new Premiership". RTÉ News.
- Brendan White (2011-02-02). "Leeson resigns Galway Utd CEO position". Retrieved 2012-02-23.
- "Galway United FC have appointed Mr Nick Leeson as the club's new Commercial Manager". www.galway.net. 17 April 2005. Retrieved 6 April 2016.
- "Local competition adds to Galway United's woes". When Saturday Comes. 17 December 2010. Retrieved 6 April 2016.
- "Leeson will remain in charge at Galway". www.rte.ie. 24 November 2010. Retrieved 6 April 2016.
- "About GUST". galwayunited.org. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
- "Galway Utd withdraw licence application". extratime.ie. Retrieved 22 December 2011.
- Malone, Emmet (14 December 2011). "Troubled Galway opt out of league for a year". irishtimes.com. Retrieved 22 December 2011.
- "Galway fans apply to form new club". RTÉ News. 13 December 2011.
- "One club or nothing warns FAI on impasse". connachttribune.ie. 27 August 2013. Retrieved 26 March 2015.
- Penrose, Gareth. "GUST vote to remain independent – Extratime.ie – League of Ireland". Extratime.ie.
- "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.
- "Mayo Football League Roll Of Honour" (PDF). inform.fai.ie. Retrieved 31 March 2016.
- "Castlebar Celtic – Club History". www.castlebarceltic.com. Retrieved 24 March 2015.