New Galway United manager Alan Murphy as urged supporters to get behind the players as he prepares for this first game in charge against Athlone Town on Friday (6th July 2018).
Murphy was announced as the new manager three days earlier (Tuesday) and signed a contract until the end of the 2018 SSE Airtricity League season.
The 36-year-old has been in charge of United’s under-17 team over the last two seasons and will remain in that role whilst carrying out his duties with the first team.
Murphy became Galway United’s all-time leading scorer earlier this season when he scored his 75th league goal for the club against Cobh Ramblers.
The Ballinrobe native began his League of Ireland career at Eamonn Deacy Park and quickly established himself as a first team regular. Under Tony Mannion in 2003, Murphy enjoyed what was possibly his standout season with the club, scoring 21 league goals in the First Division.
Moves to Derry City, Shamrock Rovers and Mervue United followed for Murphy before returning to Galway to play for local junior side West United. The midfielder rejoined United’s first team earlier this year.
Since taking on the role of under-17 manager at the club, Murphy has led United to the semi-final of the under-17 play-offs, where his team were cruelly beaten by eventual winners Cork City in a penalty shoot-out.
“A big performance is needed,” Murphy told www.galwayunitedfc.ie ahead of his opening game in charge of the seniors. “Last week wasn’t good enough against Shelbourne and the last period of time hasn’t been good enough in general, in terms of performance.
“The players recognise that and we’ve had a lot of frank and honest discussions and I think we’re due a performance, with real visible effort, and to press the issue a little bit more on the pitch.
“The current group of players that are in my squad are hurting at the moment. They need confidence and confidence can only come from a performance and a win.
“It will be a 90-minute performance, it will be a committed performance and hopefully it will be a performance that Galway people and the club, squad and everyone involved can be proud of. We need to look forward with a bit of excitement for the weeks to come.
“I’m looking for people to back myself, Mark (Herrick) and the squad. Hopefully supporters will recognise the effort that we put in throughout the years for Galway United.
“When I say effort, I mean the endeavour, the will to win and character. That’s what we’re going to try and instil in our players.
“We want a little bit of metal, a little bit of character and a willingness to force the issue on the pitch.”
Murphy has appointed former Galway United captain Mark Herrick as his assistant manager.
The Herrick family has a longstanding association with Galway United. Mark’s father, John, managed the club, while Mark also enjoyed two spells at Eamonn Deacy Park as a player, playing a key role in United’s League Cup win against Cork City in 1997.
“There are nine games left in the season and it’s going to be a tough task, but I’m really looking forward to getting stuck in,” added Murphy.
“Hard work is a must, it’s a requirement for the fans that they see a team on the pitch that’s putting it in, doing their all and that there is real passion. We want to get a bit of pride back in Galway United.
Galway United face Athlone Town in the 2018 SSE Airticity League First Division on Friday, 6th July. Kick-off at Eamonn Deacy Park is 7.45pm.