UCD AFC welcome Dundalk to the UCD Bowl looking to get off the foot of the table.
UCD AFC resume their league campaign after an extended summer break at home to Dundalk this Friday night, k.o 19:45.
The summer break has given Martin Russell team the opportunity rest and recuperate after an intensive opening third of the season. Injuries to senior players such as Ger Barron, Paul Corry and Chris Mulhall have taken their toll on the young squad. Talking ahead of the game Martin Russell stated that he felt some of the performances in the opening third of the season warranted better results: "In the first third of games our play has warranted more points, but we need to keep playing and not feel sorry for ourselves, but it is good to see the level of football played in the opening third has been quite high."
With the continued rehabilitation of senior players hopefully that extra experience will tell during the remainder of the season. The break has not brought entirely good news however. Graham Rusk will be added to the long term injury list after damaging his knee against Bray Wanderers on the 1st of June.
Through no fault of their own UCD have found themselves bottom of the league after Monaghan United pulled out of the league. Commenting on the Monaghan United withdrawal Martin Russell was keen to stress to his side that it would not impact on their goals: "For what we do it does not really change our aims and our targets, we keep asking these players to learn and develop to get higher up the football ladder. But the for the league as a whole it’s not a good reflection, we have said all along that there are many stakeholders who need to get round the table and improve matters."
With the removal of Monaghan from the league this match takes on extra significance as UCD look to leap frog their county Louth rivals in the table, a win for the Students would see them move off the foot of the table with Dundalk taking their place. UCD will be all too aware of the threat that Sean McCaffrey's team pose having been beaten in the Oriel Park already this season.
Looking ahead to the game Martin Russell spoke with www.ucdsoccer.com; "We are looking forward to the resumption of the league, we are always looking to continue the development of our young players and that obviously that starts against Dundalk, they have already beaten us once this season and we will be looking to reverse that scoreline." Injuries:Graham Rusk(knee), Sean Russell(back)Doubtful:Ger Barron(foot)