Former Bolton Wanderers defender Niall Maher signs for Galway UnitedWed, Aug 30 2017
The next seven days could all but secure European football for Shamrock Rovers in 2018.Sun, Sep 24 2017
Galway United have announced the signature of former Bolton Wanderers, Bury and Blackpool defender Niall Maher until the end of the season.
The 22-year-old Manchester-born defender mainly featured for Bolton Wanderers' under-23 outfit while at the same time making five appearances for the first team as they were relegated to Sky Bet League One during the 2015/16 season.
After a 13-year-long association with Bolton Wanderers he departed the Trotters for local rivals Bury, where the versatile defender was more of a permanent fixture in the first team, making 22 appearances for the Shakers and scoring one goal.
Maher was also involved in Blackpool's ill-fated time in the Championship as the Seasiders were left marooned at the bottom of the table for quite some time. He made 10 appearances while on loan from Bolton.
He's most recently been training with Swindon Town, taking part in the club's pre-season training camp in Portugal.
Speaking with the club's official website, Maher said that he is keen to experience a new, fresh challenge after experiencing both the Championship and League One while at the same time, trying to keep the Tribesmen in the Premier Division.
“It’s a big challenge coming here, it’s one that I’m really looking forward to.
“I’ve come to Galway for a reason and there are seven cup finals left in the league, so obviously I’m here to help the club stay up and hopefully we will have a good run in the Cup as well.
“It’s a new league for me, it’s a different place to play my football. I’ve experienced good football in the Championship and League One so it’s a new experience and a different challenge for me.
“I’m hoping to give a good account of myself and hopefully help keep Galway United in the league.”
Manager Shane Keegan expressed his delight at adding a player of Maher's versatility and experience to his ranks in the west after the departure of Lee Grace to Shamrock Rovers.
“Since Lee Grace departed, we have been a bit short at the back in terms of numbers, so to bring in a player of high standard, who has also got the flexibility to play in a number of positions, gives us the strength in depth that we will need between now and the end of the season.
“The quality of the player is important, the fitness of the player is also important, which is why it was a big plus that Niall had done a week of pre-season with Swindon Town in Portugal.
“Most important was his attitude and application. Niall is slotting in really well. He’s the kind of player who will fit into our dressing room really well.”
It is hoped that Maher will be in contention to make his first appearance in a vital clash against Bohemians at Dalymount Park on Friday night (kick-off 7.45pm)..
The defender will don the number five jersey which was occupied by Grace prior to his departure.