Galway United manager Shane Keegan says management in the First Division is different ball game to the top-flight, where outside factors take on a far greater significance.

The Tribesmen made a winning start to life in their new surroundings, a 4-1 victory over Athlone Town, following last season’s relegations from the Airtricity League.

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Speaking on RTÉ Soccer Republic Extra, Keegan admits that the drop in income has a significant impact on the club.

"Last year (in the top-flight) you are trying to tick every box. To make sure every single thing the players want is done, that no stone is left unturned," he told listeners.

"The wages we were paying the players was a livable wage. That’s certainly not the case this year."

"Whatever they are hearing at Cork or Dundalk or wherever else, they are able to say, ‘we are matching up with that’.

"Obviously when you drop down, there are budgetary constraints. We would have had a lot of lads last year who didn’t have to work part-time. The wages we were paying them was a livable wage. That’s certainly not the case this year.

"They have picked up jobs in bookies, in Elvery’s and different places here and there."

United travel to St Colman’s Park on Saturday to face Cobh Ramblers, and Keegan says that with a youthful squad and players in part-time work, training sessions with a full squad are becoming something more of a rarity.

While last year he would never have to check how many players would be available for a training session, this year a text is sent out the day before to see what numbers he will be working with.

"There will be two or three fellas that will come back to you. Some will be caught with an important college lecture or exam, others will have part-time work that they just can’t get off. You just have to work around that.

"We’re training three times a week. Realistically I need fellas to be making at least two of those. We try to make sure we have everybody for the last training session before a game.

"You have to bend and be willing to work with them."

"We have to make sure he is doing enough in school to get a decent Leaving Cert"

Teenager Ronan Manning, brother of QPR’s Ryan, was on the scoresheet against Athlone as his stock continues to rise.

The fact he is still in school is something Keegan is taking into consideration with Manning;s schedule.

"We have to be very, very conscious of not putting too much of a burden on his shoulders. We have to make sure he is doing enough in school to get a decent Leaving Cert.

"Conor Barry missed a Thursday session because he had to sort out work placement for college. What can you do?

"He has to do it and we work around that."