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  • Thursday February 15th, 2024 @ 14:05

Preview: Galway Utd Vs Saints (16/02/24)

The Saints kick off their 2024 League of Ireland Premier Division campaign this Friday evening with a trip west to face newly promoted Galway United.

Kick-off is at 7.45pm in Eamonn Deacy Park.

The away allocation for the game is completely SOLD OUT.

A strong away support is set to make the journey from Inchicore to Galway on Friday, with the away allocation of tickets selling out within minutes.

For those St Pat's fans who didn’t manage to get their hands on a ticket, the match will be shown live on LOITV.

The Saints come into this game off the back of a 3-1 defeat in the President's Cup final against Shamrock Rovers in front of a record League of Ireland attendance of over 8,000 at Tallaght Stadium which included a record away support of 2,300.

Jamie Lennon got our goal.

With numerous key players re-signed, some excellent transfer business done and a Sports Direct FAI Cup title to defend, it’s an exciting time to be a Saint.



2023 SEASON RECAP

St Pat's finished the 2023 Premier Division in 3rd place with 62 points from 36 league games, clinching European football in the process.

With manager Jon Daly stepping into the dugout on a permanent basis in May, the club went from strength to strength.

The club was crowned FAI Cup Champions for the fifth time in it's history, having beaten Bohemians 3-1 in the final at the Aviva Stadium.

It was a day that will live long in the memories of all those in Inchicore, with a record sell-out crowd making it a grand occasion.

Having gone 1-0 down in the ninth minute through a Jonny Afolabi penalty, Jon Daly’s men kept their cool.

Mark Doyle, and OG and Tommy Lonergan got the goals in front of a record breaking cup final crowd of over 40,000.



Club legend Chris Forrester became the first ever player to win the Cup three times for the club and to play in four finals.

Saints Academy product Jamie Lennon put in a Man of the Match display to spur his side towards victory.

Joe Redmond wrote his name in history as just the fourth captain of St Patrick's Athletic to lift an FAI Cup.

It was a special day, and those who lived it will remember it forever.



OPPOSITION WATCH:

Galway United won the 2023 First Division title, achieving automatic promotion.

They finished on 94 points from their 36 league games, losing only twice in the whole league campaign.

Galway also got to the FAI Cup semi-final, where they lost 1-0 to Bohemians at Eamonn Deacy Park.

A Dylan Connolly goal on the day was enough to secure a win for Bohs, in a competition that Jon Daly's men would go on to win.

The last time these sides met in the Premier Division was back in 2017, when a Billy Dennehy goal secured a point for the Saints.



Manager Jon Daly is heading into his first full season in charge at Richmond Park and has been helping us look ahead to the start of the season in Galway.

"Galway are a decent side, they and Waterford coming up to the Premier Division are two good sides.

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."




NEW RECRUITS

So far in this transfer window, ten new players have joined Jon Daly's squad.

The new signings have helped to reinforce the squad’s strength and depth all over the pitch with a goalkeeper, three defenders, four midfielders and two strikers having been added.

In goal, the Saints have swooped in for Liverpool's Brazilian shot-stopper Marcelo Pitaluga on a season-long loan:

Marcelo joined Liverpool from Brazilian side Fluminese in 2020 and has already made first-team appearances for Jürgen Klopp's side.

At the back, new additions Alfie Taylor, Conor Keeley and Luke Turner have given Jon Daly some strong options to choose from:



6'5 stalwart centre-back Keeley was signed from Drogheda United and after a stellar season there - in which he made 33 Premier Division appearances and helped them to a 7th place finish - he made the move to Richmond.

19-year-old Alfie Taylor came to Inchicore on loan from boyhood club Hull City. Having been at City from the age of nine, he signed his first professional contract in 2021 and will add quality to Daly’s backline.

Luke Turner joined St Pat's from Cliftonville on a multi-year contract. The 21-year-old defender, who grew up watching the likes of new teammate Chris Forrester at Richmond, has experience beyond his years and is excited for the new season to begin.



Midfield reinforcements of Aaron Bolger, Brandon Kavanagh, Arran Pettifer and Romal Palmer have bolstered an already strong area of the Cup winning side:

Aaron Bolger followed teammate Ruairí Keating and joined St Pat's from Cork City on a multi-year contract. Having spent time at Cardiff City, the 24-year-old went on to spend two-and-a-half years in Turner's Cross before making the move to Richmond.

Brandon Kavanagh signed for the Saints just days after the FAI Cup win. The attacking midfielder joined the side from Derry City, where he won the 2022 FAI Cup and, at 23 years-old, adds a lot of ability and versatility to an already strong midfield.

Arran Pettifer joined St Pat's on a permanent deal from Bolton Wanderers. The 20-year-old had been training with the squad for a number of weeks before eventually signing. The English centre-midfielder had been at Bolton from the age of eight and had made appearances for the first team before making the move to the League of Ireland.

The latest signing made by the club is midfielder Romal Palmer. Palmer joined on loan from Turkish side Göztepe. Having spent ten years in the Manchester City academy, he joined Barnsley in 2017 and made 70 appearances in the EFL Championship, before moving to Turkey in July 2022.



The forward firepower in Inchicore is set to be very strong in 2024 with both Cian Kavanagh and Ruairí Keating being tasked with putting the ball in the back of the net this season:

Former St Pat's academy striker Cian Kavanagh signed for the Saints from Derry City.

Having been at the club from 2017-2019, Cian joined Hearts in Scotland before spells at Waterford and Derry led him back to Inchicore.

Ruairí Keating adds a dangerous threat to the point of Jon Daly’s attack this season. Having scored 13 Premier Division goals for 9th-placed Cork City in 2023, Keating has proved his prolific nature in the league.



TEAM NEWS:

Tom Grivosti (knee) continues to recove from his injury.

TICKETS / TV / UPDATES

Tickets for the game are completely SOLD OUT, the match will be live on LOITV.

As always, updates can be found on the Official St Pat's FC App - available now on both the App Store and Play Store.

Updates will also be available across all the club's social media channels.

Photo credit: Sportsfile

Next Fixture

Waterford / April 19th @ 7:45pm
Competition: League
Venue: Richmond Park
 
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St Patrick's Athletic FC

Founded in 1929 the 'Saints' are the current FAI Cup holders and play in the Premier Division of the SSE Airtricity League at Richmond Park, in Inchicore Dublin 8, Ireland.

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