Tommy Barrett: ‘Hopefully we can develop a squad that can compete in the First Division’

Treaty United boss Tommy Barrett

Treaty United boss Tommy Barrett Credit: Gerry Shanahan (ETPhotos)

Treaty United boss Tommy Barrett is hopeful that his recent recruits' experience of being involved in title-winning First Division teams will come in handy this year. 

The Shannonsiders have added First Division title winners Yoyo Mahdy, David Tarmey, Oisin O’Reilly, Evan O’Connor, Callum McNamara and Alec Byrne to their ranks this off-season. 

Mahdy won the second-tier twice with UCD and Shelbourne, Alec Byrne won it with Cork City in 2022 while quartet Tarmey, O’Reilly, O’Connor and McNamara also played bit-part roles in Galway United’s romp to the trophy last season. 

And those recruits - alongside Thomas Considine - are welcome additions after Marc Ludden, Sean Guerins, Conor Barry, Dean George, Jordan Tallon and Success Edogun left. 

“We have some league winners in the squad and we have a bit of experience around there,” Barrett told

“Mark Walsh is still here and Callum McNamara is back. Then we've retained good players like Lee Devitt, Colin Conroy, Willie Armshaw and we’ve signed Thomas Considine as well. 

“We have some very good young players coming through in young underage internationals like Robbie Lynch and Adam O'Halloran. We’ve got a good blend.”

This season will also herald the first year of the club under new ownership. 

Former Ireland women’s international Ciara McCormack has been installed as CEO and co-owner with new Canadian investors Tricor Pacific Capital. 

“It’s an exciting time,” Barrett adds. 

“The last three years have been really good and it's been really positive and we're hoping that we can kick on a bit off the pitch and hopefully maintain things on the pitch.”

But not much has changed from Barrett’s perspective at least.

“It's still pretty similar,” he admits. 

“We're hoping to grow organically and see if we can bring in some younger players. We've started producing players from the academy in the last few years so that's the way we're going. 

“The board did a really good job and maintained it and put competitive teams out on the pitch. 

“But now it's time to hopefully invest in the infrastructure, get our facilities right and then maybe grow from within in the next few years. 

“Hopefully we can develop a squad that can compete in the First Division and are towards the top end of it in the next few years.”

With all of the changes in mind, the second-tiers consistent overachievers may be written off once again.

But the Shannonsiders are at least confident they can compete for a play-off place again.

“When you look at the strength of the division and the amount of resources the other clubs have, it's always going to be difficult for us,” Barrett said. 

“For us to finish ahead of the likes of Bray and Longford is a fantastic achievement.

“But two or three teams will want to win the league and the rest want to get into the playoffs so we’ll be one of those. 

“It's always your aim to win as many matches and we’d love to win the league if we could. But you know it's unlikely. But you know you want to win every game. 

“If you can go out and be competitive in every game, let’s see where it takes you. I don't want to limit us either. We want to win every game, no matter what. Is it realistic? 

“Probably not. But we are going to try to win every game.”