UCD AFC kick off their FAI Ford Cup campaign with the visit of Phoenix FC to the UCD Bowl on Friday the 25th of May at 19:45.
Last season UCD drew Cherry Orchard in the third round of the cup and after a comfortable two nil result UCD were drawn against Shamrock Rovers, after a thrilling two all draw UCD forced a replay in Tallaght, competing for much of the game UCD were eventually well beaten.
This season UCD will no doubt be looking to the cup as a place where their young squad can gain further experience at the top level of domestic football. The recent result against Sligo Rovers at the UCD Bowl shows that UCD AFC are capable of beating the best sides in the country. With such a young squad it is only natural that results will fluctuate from time to time.
As Martin explained the recent win against Sligo Rovers can be a mixed blessing:
"It should be a boost to their confidence(beating Sligo), but on the down side of that they might be too confident. We know that Phoenix will come to win, it’s their big day and if we are anyway under par it’s only going to help their cause."
Friday's game against Phoenix will give this talented young side another opportunity to learn their trade, while also providing them with the environment in which to demonstrate their undoubted ability. While injuries have plagued the UCD squad this term there is added incentive to players coming through the ranks to grab their opportunity. Tyrone McNelis who appearance for the senior side against Sligo last Monday night being a prime example. Despite these injuries Martin was keen to emphasise that management would be looking for similar performance as they have been seeing in the league:
"We looking for a similar sort of performance both in terms of ability and attitude."
"We have seen them play, and we know that they will want to get the ball down and pass it, they have done well in their league, teams in that league have shown that they are capable of causing upsets to the senior sides."
Ger Barron(foot), Sean Russell(back), Cillian Morrison(hip flex), Chris Mulhall(groin)
John Kelly and Tyrone McNelis