Galway United have announced the re-signing of last season’s Premier Division trio Conor Melody, Gary Shanahan and Alex Byrne for the 2018 campaign in the First Division.
Conor Melody re-signs for the Tribesmen after a fruitful 2017 for Galway’s former Under-19 star, as he built on past seasons in the Galway United first-team squad where the versatile wide player made a considerable mark on the starting XI.
Manager Shane Keegan, speaking with galwayunitedfc.ie, has had his say on the deal and is looking for Melody to nail down one position in the team rather than playing in many roles as he has done in the past.
“Conor is a very versatile player,” said Keegan. “We’ve had a chat regarding what his best position could be and how we might get the most out of him, but his attitude is so good that he’s more than willing to go where required for the sake of the team. He’ll offer us options in lots of different positions.
“Pre-season will give us a chance to see what position will get the most out of Conor, as he has possibly suffered a bit from his own versatility, being somewhat of a jack of all trades. I do want to work with him and we’ll hopefully nail down a particular role for him, while still requiring some flexibility at times.”
Also re-signing for Shane Keegan’s charges for 2018 is Gary Shanahan who has committed to pulling on the Galway United jersey for the fifth season in a row at Eamonn Deacy Park.
Speaking on the deal, his manager Shane Keegan has said “Gary will be one of the most experienced players in next season’s squad and he’s probably close to reaching cult hero status with the club. He’s Galway United through and through, despite not having been born here. I think it could be a huge season for him.
“He played a major role in the club’s last promotion from the First Division and I think with the experience he has accrued over the last few years, he will do that and more next season.
Keegan is also hoping that Shanahan’s previous First Division experience will be a big aid to his sides chances next season as the Tribesmen look to bounce straight back up to the Premier Division.
“That kind of experience is invaluable. He’s quite similar to Marc Ludden in many respects and is almost a right-footed version of him. We’ve had a bit of a chat and we could possibly tinker with Gary’s position next season to make the most of his attributes.
“He’s phenomenally fit, with a tremendous engine and can get up and down the pitch all day long for us. We’ll be looking at ways to get the best out of him, but he’s going to be a huge part of what we’re looking to do.”
The last of the trio to re-sign for United is central-midfield star Alex Byrne who has decided to stay at Eamonn Deacy Park for his fifth successive campaign with the Tribesmen.
In total, Byrne has made 99 appearances for the Westerners and was part of that successful promotion side of 2014 where the 22 year old scored his only goal for his hometown club in the Playoff final triumph over UCD.
Keegan is looking for his young, yet experienced midfield star to be the backbone of a potentially triumphant Galway United side for next season.
“Alex has the opportunity to go out next season and almost make himself a player that the team revolves around.
“He has tremendous technical ability on the ball and is a player that is superb at taking information on board.
“The role you ask Alex to fill is exactly what he will do. He can be a rock for us that creates a base for everything around him.”
These trio of re-signings bring Galway United’s squad up to 10 for the 2018 season as Shane Keegan has made no secret that he is looking at gaining automatic promotion to the Premier Division at the first time of asking with a number of impressive acquisitions which have included the return to Galway of Ryan Connolly from Shamrock Rovers.
Gary Shanahan, Alex Byrne and Conor Melody are all signed up for 2018! Are you? There is still time to get your Galway United Season Ticket in time for Christmas!— Galway United (@GalwayUnitedFC) December 23, 2017
Our Christmas shop is open until 6.00pm this evening: https://t.co/zptr4k7nlr #GUFC pic.twitter.com/WgKPLtQCme