Galway United could be doing pre-season training in Athlone or Limerick after their access to Mervue United’s Fahy’s Field was denied following a row over underage recruitment.
Mervue United provide the only full size all-weather training pitch in the county but the establishment of the new National under 15 League has created tensions between the two clubs.
The competition is restricted to senior League of Ireland clubs but Galway United’s recruitment of Mervue United players has led to a breakdown in relations and now the club are going day-to-day having to sort out training venues.
“We are probably in a situation where if something isn’t sorted in the next 24 hours,” said manager Shane Keegan to Daniel McDonnell in the Irish Independent. “Galway United are probably looking at training in Athlone (AIT) or UL in Limerick, the two closest full-sized astros to us.
— Independent Sport (@IndoSport) February 14, 2018
“Some of the other clubs have been great. People can promise us a pitch but, if I’m going to bed knowing if it rains tonight I’ve no venue for training in the morning, that’s no use.”
Keegan was attending the SSE Airtricity League Launch in the Aviva Stadium on Tuesday when he spoke to the assembled media. Galway United rejoined the league in 2014 after a two-year absence having replaced Salthill Devon and Mervue United.
They only have access to Eamonn Deacy Park, owned by Galway FA, for matches and have to go elsewhere for training.
“Pre-season has been an absolute disaster,” added Keegan to extratime.ie. “What you’re seeing on the pitch at the moment is unfortunately a result of what’s going on off the pitch as we haven’t had a training base in three weeks.
— Extratime.ie (@ExtratimeNews) February 13, 2018
“I don’t want to get into a blame game on it. It’s nothing to do with first team affairs – it’s an underage issue.
“We were training in Mervue and there’s been a fallout. It’s not related to first team at all and I think Mervue United would back that up.
“It’s an issue related to the underage structure and recruitment and all of that. It’s put the first team in a scenario where they’re getting texts the night before a training session to let them know where to turn up to the following morning to train.”
Galway United begin their First Division Campaign against Athlone Town on Friday, 23rd February (Eamonn Deacy Park, 7.45pm).