Galway United have announced that former League of Ireland coach and player Colin Fortune has been appointed Assistant Manager for the first team.
The Athlone native has a long history as a player and coach for his home town and county, as well as with Galway United.
Fortune enjoyed a lengthy playing career in the League of Ireland and he made the move to Galway United from Athlone Town in the 2000/2001 season.
In his six seasons at Eamon Deacy Park he was highly regarded as a competitive midfielder, also serving as club captain for a time, before returning to Athlone.
He returned to Athlone Town before finishing his playing career at League of Ireland level with Kildare County and then his focus quickly switched to the coaching side of the game.
Fortune spoke of his pride at rejoining the club and his excitement about starting his role at Eamonn Deacy Park.
“It’s great to be back in Galway. I’m honoured to be involved. Galway United is a big club and it always was a big club.
“When Alan asked me, I was over the moon. I know Alan for a long time and there is real drive and ambition there.”
He praised the performance of Galway United in the 2019 season, despite the chaos endured by the club with players coming and going.
“The average age was very young and a lot of fellas got their first chance to play League of Ireland football and that will stand to them and hopefully they will kick-on in the coming season.”
“It’s very exciting to get back involved at this level, lots of people knock the league, but it’s very professional and what we will put into it as a coaching team is professionalism.
We will try and get a few experienced heads in to help the younger players at the club, I think that’s important.”
“The younger players here are very good, but they do need a wise head around them to give them a dig out and give them a bit of experience.”
Galway United boss Alan Murphy has a long history with Fortune on the field, but says that what he was really looking for, and Fortune fit the bill perfectly, was a mind that could help elevate the team.
“I wanted somebody that could challenge me and be a good addition to the dressing room in terms of the qualities and characteristics that I admire in a coach and a person.
“I’ve harped on about the dressing room and bringing in the right type of characters and that extends beyond the players also.
“You need to surround yourself with people you can trust and that you know will be as hard working as yourself.”
He added that Colin Fortune is a straight talker who won’t be afraid to voice his opinion, qualities that will help him be a good foil for Murphy.
“When I was looking for an assistant, there were a lot of candidates, but he was a person that really ticked all of the boxes and stood out for me and I believe he can help us to take the club to the next level.”