An opportunity to get to the league cup final for the fifth time, having won the trophy in both 1986 and 1997, is what faces Shane Keegan’s men when they host 5-time winners Dundalk at Eamonn Deacy Park tomorrow afternoon. Dundalk last won the trophy in 2014.
For Galway United it’s a chance to leave their league troubles behind them, for a week at least, and take on the champions on their own patch. They’ve already beaten them in Eamonn Deacy Park this season, when Gary Shanahan’s added time winner helped the Tribesmen to a 2-1 victory.
One blow to Galway’s chances is the suspension of star-man Ronan Murray, while on-loan striker Jonah Ayunga is Cup-tied. Dylan Connolly is also cup-tied for Dundalk, and have doubts over both Dane Massey and Thomas Stewart.
United boss Shane Keegan is really looking forward to the game.
“The game couldn’t have come at a better time for us. There is a lot of positivity about the club. We’ve won three of our last four games. The players are in a good frame of mind. The Finn Harps result was fantastic.”
“What more could you ask for now, we’re playing the current league champions, it’s a nice game to look forward to. The players understand the extent of the challenge, but they’re embracing it.”
“It’s a cliche, but it is a nice distraction from the toil of the league campaign for us. To reach a semi-final has been nice, but with the added morale at the moment, if we could pull of a result and reach the final, the morale would go through the roof.”
“You would’ve liked to have seen Dundalk in a tighter race for first, they might’ve taken their eye off the ball a bit then. In all likelihood, they won’t win the league this year, so Stephen will be looking at both Cups and they’ll be going full pelt for it.”
Dundalk may not have had the best campaign, as far as the league is concerned, but a chance to reach a cup final is something defender Sean Gannon is relishing.
He spoke to dundalkfc.com ahead of the game. “We know this is a massive week for us going into the two cup games so we need to make sure that we’re going in in good form.”
The 25 year-old is expecting a difficult game on Monday evening, however he believes the Lilywhites will be ready to go again.
“It’s going to be a tough game. With it being the semi-final of the cup they’re going to be right up for it and so are we. I hope there is going to be great support for us there and they get behind us to push us over the line.”
“We are going to prepare properly over the weekend, we’ll recover well and get ready to go again Monday.”
Photo Credit: Galway United FC