League Preview: Galway United -v- St Patrick's Athletic

Brendan Clarke

Former St Pat's man Brendan Clarke will be in goal for Galway United Credit: Eddie Lennon (ETPhotos)


Galway United finally begin life back in the Premier Division when they host St Patrick’s Athletic at Eamonn Deacy Park on Friday night, kick-off 7:45pm.

It’s been six long seasons in the Tribesmen but they are finally back in the top flight and hosting Premier Division football.

It’s a challenging fixture for the new boys of the Premier Division with the FAI Cup champions coming to town but manager John Caulfield is looking forward to the test.

“It’s an exciting time back in the Premier Division,” Caulfield said, speaking to the club’s website.

“Our supporters want to be back there. Our crowds, which were excellent last year, are expected to be even bigger this year.

“We can’t wait for the opening day of the season and to test ourselves against St Pat’s. “It’s important everyone gets into the ground very early and supports these lads” Having people in the ground early, can make a crucial difference to the pre-match atmosphere and the players can feed off that energy.”

There are reports of a few injury concerns for Galway coming into Friday night, but at the very least it will be a first opportunity for their new recruits to make an impact with the likes of Garry Buckley and Karl O’Sullivan in line for their debuts having joined from Sligo during the offseason.


The FAI Cup champions begin their 2024 Premier Division campaign with a trip to newly promoted Galway United – their first visit to Eamonn Deacy Park since 2017.

There will be a loud travelling Saints contingent watching on as the club sold out their away allocation in minutes with 400 lucky Pat’s fans set to attend.

The Athletic have already had a serious test coming into Friday’s game with the side coming into this weekend off the back of a 3-1 defeat to Shamrock Rovers in the President’s Cup.

Jamie Lennon scored the Saints goal but they fell to a heavy defeat to Rovers and they will be looking to make a strong start to the league campaign as they look to challenge for this year’s Premier Division title.

"Galway are a decent side, they and Waterford coming up to the Premier Division are two good sides,” manager Jon Daly said, speaking to the club’s website.

“I've watched Galway a couple of times in pre-season and I think it will be a tough game for us.

“They are a physical side, they are a very well organised team who work really hard.

“There is going to be a huge home crowd right behind them too for their first game back in the Premier in a few years, and we've got our sold-out away end too, everyone will be well up for it.

“It's important that we don't get caught up in all of that and focus on trying to win the game."

The Athletic have just one confirmed absentee coming into Friday with Tom Grivosti still recovering from a knee injury.

Referee: Eoghan O’Shea


This will be the first time Galway United and St Patrick’s Athletic have met since the 2017 season – due to United’s relegation at the conclusion of that campaign.

Friday night will see the side meet on the opening night of the season for the eighth time.

You have to go back to 2016 for the Saints most recent victory over United, the Dublin side won all three games against the Tribesmen that season.


Galway United 6/4; Draw 23/10; St Patrick’s Athletic 8/5.


Galway United 1–1 St Patrick’s Athletic

Galway United

Injured: N/A.

Doubtful: N/A.

Suspended: None.

St Patrick’s Athletic

Injured: Tom Grivosti.

Doubtful: None.

Suspended: None.