UCD back in pre-season!

There's plenty of excitement around UCD at the minute since the return of our First Team squad to pre-season training at the start of January.UCD Pre Season 2019

After last season's First Division title winning campaign, there is a lot to look forward to over the coming weeks and months with the return of Premier Division football to the UCD Bowl. Speaking after the return to training, our captain Gary O'Neill is delighted to be back and is looking forward to the challenge ahead.

"It's great to be back for pre-season with a Premier Division campaign to look forward to. All the boys look fit and sharp and in good spirits to be back on the pitch."

Pre-season at UCD is like no other club, with plenty of competitive action to come over the coming weeks ahead of our season opener away to Derry City. At the end of January (Tuesday 29th) we face a College's and Universities League quarter final clash against Athlone IT, however before then we face Mary Immaculate College in the preliminary round of the Collingwood Cup on Wednesday 23rd January. If we can advance past Mary Immaculate College, we would then face Queen's University Belfast in the quarter final in a repeat of last year's final, with the competition running from the 4th to the 6th of February.

Speaking on our return to training, Collie knows his side will be up against it, however he will be hoping his side can bring last season's form into the season ahead and really look to make their mark on the Premier Division.

"It will obviously be a big step up to be competing at that level week in week out, however it is certainly a challenge we are looking forward to. We have a great squad here, and the lads are all looking forward to getting back into action and showing everyone what we can do."

"Pre-season for us is different to most, with the college games and having high-tempo competitive games straight from the off. With the intensity of the CUFL games being a lot higher than most regular pre-season games, this allows players to get up to the pace and match fitness quicker. These are extremely important games for the club, and It will also give a lot of players a chance to get competitive minutes under their belt which will definitely benefit them going into the season."

Reflecting back on last season, Collie recognises the boost being successful in the College's competitions gave his side on the way to lifting the First Division title, and is hoping that it is something they can replicate this season.

"Last season we completed the Universities double during pre-season, winning both the College's and Universities League and the Collingwood Cup, and that gave the lads a taste of silverware early on, which definitely helped us towards the end of the season on the way to lifting the First Division title. They are extremely tough competitions to win, with over 100 League of Ireland players playing in the competitions now, and this has really set the standard very high. The games will be coming quick and fast over the coming weeks, and they are ones which all of the lads really want to be involved in as we prepare for the season ahead."

Meanwhile, Ireland underage international, Richie O'Farrell has joined the club on a sports scholarship, signing from St Patrick's Athletic.

Friday 25th January will see us face Shelbourne FC in a pre-season friendly at the UCD Bowl with kick off being 7.30pm.

Ahead of the new season, make sure you never miss a fixture and download our fixtures calendar direct to your phone or tablet by clicking here! 

Current Full Squad List:
Goalkeepers: Conor Kearns, Tom Murphy, Gavin Sheridan, Matthew Treanor
Defenders: Luke Boore, Josh Collins, Darragh Corcoran, Mark Dignam, Evan Farrell, Evan Osam, Liam Scales, Daniel Tobin
Midfielders: Kevin Coffey, Conor Crowley, Paul Doyle, Neil Farrugia, Jason McClelland, Timmy Molloy, Richie O'Farrell, Gary O'Neill, Jack Ryan
Forwards: Conor Davis, Yoyo Mahdy, Sean McDonald