From Old Trafford to Thomond Park

Lydia Turley and new signing, Danny Galbraith looking forward to Limerick FC's return to the Airtricity Premier Division against Cork City this Sunday at 5.15pm in Thomond Park.
Danny Galbraith once spent three years with Man Utd but now he’s looking forward to a new challenge in Limerick. He spoke to Daniel Tighe

Danny Galbraith once spent three years with Man Utd but now he’s looking forward to a new challenge in Limerick. He spoke to Daniel Tighe

OF all Limerick FC’s preseason signings, arguably the most exciting is former Man Utd schoolboy Danny Galbraith.

“I’m really excited, there’s a buzz and everybody can’t wait for Sunday to come,” enthused Galbraith of the coming season. Galbraith, 22, has joined Limerick FC on a two-year deal.

Manager Stuart Taylor and CEO John O’Sullivan were extremely keen to get their man and it was this enthusiasm that convinced Galbraith that Limerick was the place to rebuild his career.

“That means more than anything to me, that’s the reason I came here to be honest. I was completely sold on the place by the enthusiasm of the club and the manager and all the staff. I couldn’t have asked for anymore. Initially it looked like I would only come short term but because of how wanted they made me feel, I thought it was only right that I show some commitment back to them.

“You only need to look outside (at Thomond Park) to see the arena we’re going to be playing in this year. I just want to do my best for the club and repay all those that have shown faith in me.”

Born in the Scottish borders an hour south of Edinburgh he began his playing career as a boy with Hearts.

“I was with Hearts when I was younger, then I got scouted by Man Utd. I signed when I was able to cross the border at 16. It was a dream come through to be honest. They were the team I supported as a kid and to be able to have the chance to go there for three years was great.

“It was a great experience more than anything. It was just unfortunate, I had a lot of injury problems when I was young but that’s football. Very few people get the chance to go to Man Utd, so I’m just thankful that I got that opportunity and I just need to take the positives from the experience.”

Giving an insight into what makes Alex Ferguson the manager he is, Galbraith noted: “He took a keen interest in all the young boys, he knew everyone’s name and your family’s. As low down as the academy he knows every single player. For the young boys there, to hear a man like him is showing an interest is a massive (boost).

“My first year couldn’t have went much better, I was one of the youngest in the squad and I played in every game in the FA Youth Cup getting to the final before unfortunately losing to Liverpool.”

The history and tradition of Thomond Park will hold no fears for Galbraith having played in Old Trafford, Anfield and the Emirates during that 2007 Youth Cup run. After such a promising start at one of the world’s biggest clubs, unfortunately for Galbraith injuries started to severely hamper his progress.

“Everything was going to plan but that’s football I hit a few injuries and at a club like that - it will kill you.”

After three years at United it was back to Edinburgh, where he joined Hibs. “I spent the last three seasons at Hibs. It was good, I played in the first team from when I was 18. I moved just before I turned 19, so to get first team football and to get a taste of what it’s like to play professionally was great. Then I had a few different managers and things change, again that’s part of football.”

While he has committed to Limerick for the next two seasons, Galbraith has not given up on the possibilities of forging a top level career back across the water.

“That was an attractive part of coming here, there’s been a long line of players that have moved on from Ireland and carved out successful careers whether in England or other countries. Everbody’s different, some people are late developers some people don’t get the breaks. Football is a very fickle game, opinions change everything. The beauty, I suppose is it can change so quickly, both ways, good or bad. You just need to keep believing and do your best and anything can happen.”

Galbraith, now hoping for better luck on the injury front, said: “Injuries are part of football you’ve got to accept that. It’s probably the only thing you can be guaranteed in football, everbody has them, some worse than others. Now I just want to put that behind me and to contribute to a successful season with Limerick.”