As Paul makes his debut with Sheffield Wednesday in a reserve game today, we take a look back at his career so far
By Jamie Moore
You may have heard that midfielder Paul Corry has left the club. Last Wednesday afternoon he signed for English Championship team Sheffield Wednesday for an undisclosed fee and was on the bench for their game against Crystal Palace on Saturday.
The 21 year old, who played 92 league games for UCD and over 100 games in total, signed a three year contract today.
Paul played the majority of his schoolboy football with Belvedere FC, and captained his team to two DDSL Premier League titles, a league cup and two FAI Cups under managers John Moore and Jimmy Jackson.
He moved to Belvo at the age of 13 after a spell with Cherry Orchard, and like at UCD, learned to play football the right way with many trophies and play of the year awards along the way.
Paul might not have made it to UCD had he taken up the offer of youth contracts from Burnley and Nottingham Forest at the age of 16, but he opted to stay at Belvo and finish his leaving cert in Belvedere College.
He achieved an impressive 480 points in his Leaving Cert and was offered a soccer scholarship by UCD and Martin Russell.
As college life awaited, Burnley came calling again. At the time they were manager by Owen Coyle and were in the Premier League.
Paul spent two weeks on trial at Burnley and was offered a professional contract which he decided he was going to take but he had a last minute change of heart and decided to take up the Commerce scholarship and sign for UCD AFC.
Paul, from Castleknock, arrived at UCD towards the end of the 2009 season and made his debut from the bench against Sporting Fingal. He went straight into Martin Russell’s starting line up for the next game and was an ever present for the rest of the season, helping the team claim promotion from the first division.
Injuries hit his first season in the Premier Division making just 22 starts but impressed enough to have Shamrock Rovers sniffing around. He started every league game last season (36 from 36), making him the only player in the league to do so.
In the close season he met up with then Sligo manager Paul Cook about a move to The Showgrounds as well as new St. Pats manager Liam Buckley, but with one year left of his degree, Corry opted to stay with UCD.
He has made 17 appearances this season scoring once. He got a crucial last minute winner over Shelbourne in the league at Tolka Park two weeks ago. UCD sit a point ahead of bottom side Dundalk so that goal and those points could be crucial in ensuring UCD stay in the Premier Division.
Also playing for the college team he won a Colleges/Universities title, a Harding Cup and an FAI U20 National League title.”
Having got his degree earlier in the summer, Paul has been offered jobs by two big companies, but decided to defer the offer in favour of chasing his football dream, and again the risk has paid off.
International wise Paul has represented Ireland at every underage level, including U23 and International Schools and was recently called into Noel King’s U21 squad for the Euro 2013 qualification game against Turkey.
Corry said “I’m delighted to have got the move, it’s been something I’ve been working towards for a number of years but felt my education was also important, but I’m delighted it’s happened.”
“I’ve had a great few years at UCD and made some life long friends as well as played top level football in Ireland’s Premier League.”
“I’d like to thank all the players and staff at UCD and manager Martin Russell. I will be looking out for their result every weekend and look forward to returning to The Bowl to watch a game whenever I can.”
“Our form of late has been good and I’m sure the lads can get a few more points and stay in the Premier Division which they deserve to do.”
Speaking about the move; “I have bided my time for the right move at the right time and this is it for me.”
“Sheffield Wednesday is a club with huge heritage and history and the stadium just blows you away. I can’t really wait to get started and like everyone at the club, I have ambitions of playing in the Premier League.”
But Corry knows it’s baby steps in the beginning. “It’s one step at a time, I know it will be difficult at first but once I settle in and get my sharpness, I have the confidence in my ability to do well for Sheffield Wednesday.”
Paul will go from having squad number 6 at UCD to number 21 for his new club.
So what does UCD manager Martin Russell think about the move?
“It’s a significant move for all concerned. Paul leaves us having completed his studies and now can focus on making his way in the professional game with a top championship club. He has been a valuable team player since his arrival. I know he values the philosophy that the club beholds, and his move for me demonstrates that you can continue your footballing aspirations without sacrificing your education.”
Martin himself left Ireland as a 16 year old and signed for Manchester United and knows how tough life away from home is;
“Far too many Irish players leave too early for too little .When I originally signed Paul I told him that UCD was the best option for a lad his age and I hope more like him will follow in his steps in the future.”
“He has progressed in both football and academic pathways and everyone here wishes him the best.”
“It’s not easy to lose someone of Paul’s calibre, but it now gives others an opportunity to progress, and this has been a feature at the club for a long time. All the lads will miss Paul, but can also use his rise up the football as a source of inspiration.”
You can follow Paul on twitter @paul_corry
SEASON LEAGUE APPEARANCES LEAGUE GOALS
2009 11 3
2010 22+6 SUB 4
2011 36 2
2012 17 1