Mayo man Gary Boylan signs for Galway United
Mayo native and former Sligo Rovers player Gary Boylan has joined Galway United. The 24-year-old joins the Tribesmen after a year playing Gaelic football with his hometown club, CLG Belmullet.
Boylan came through the academy system at The Showgrounds and the versatile defender, who has also featured in midfield, spent five seasons with the Bit o' Red, where he made over 100 appearances in the Premier Division.
The former Irish Under 21 international went on to sign for John Caulfield at Cork City, but his appearances were limited on Leeside due to a knee injury.
Now manager of Galway United, Caulfield said he was 'thrilled' to add a player of Boylan's quality and experience to the squad for next season.
Speaking to www.galwayunitedfc.ie, the United manager said: “Gary was keen to join us and he was a player I really wanted to bring to the club. He can play at centre-back, right-back or in the middle of the park. He's a very good footballer.
“Gary has played a lot of games at the highest level in this country and he gives us that level of experience, which will help the younger players at the club. After losing Jack Lynch and Kevin Farragher, we needed to bring in players that are strong defensively, but also fit into the profile we're trying to build at the club. I've no doubt that Gary will be a massive signing for us.
“From day one we've been trying to get a team together where you have a large portion from the west of Ireland. We have the local lads from the city and outskirts, but certainly we have a few lads from Mayo, Clare, Limerick and some from further afield also. Gary is the perfect fit for us.”
In the past Boylan has been known for his versatility. Now, however, he would like to establish himself at centre-half.
He said: “I've been keeping a close eye on Galway United's progress since John took over. I've worked with him previously at Cork City and I know he's a serial winner. There's no doubt in my mind he'll bring success to the club in the future.
“It's a big club. I've played here before, there's a really good fanbase in Galway, and it's a nice place to play. John brings a huge intensity to training and games, and that's something I want to be a part of.
“I know the ambitions John has for the club and where he wants to bring it, so hopefully next year we can bring success to the club.
“Preferably I'm signing here as a centre-half. It's a position I enjoy, but if John wants me to play in the centre of the park, or at right-back, I'm happy to facilitate whatever the team needs.”
Boylan was one of the stars on the Mayo minor team that won a Connaught championship in 2014 but was beaten by Kerry in the All-Ireland semi-final. After that he concentrated on soccer with Sligo Rovers for four seasons before moving to Cork City, where injury curtailed his progress. He played with Belmullet in the Mayo senior club championship this year, where his club just missed out on a quarterfinal place due to scoring difference.