Gareth Matthews, Gary Burke and Martin Russell talk to Jamie Moore
Gareth Matthews and Gary Burke have both signed for the 2013 season. Gareth returns to the club after a couple of seasons away with Shelbourne while Gary re-signs having played for the club last season.
Manager Martin Russell is delighted with the signings:
“I’m happy to have the two lads back for the new season, both understand the philosophy of the club as they have been here before, I look forward to seeing them continue their development this season.”
Gareth made 15 league appearances for the club in 2009 and 2010 before signing for Shelbourne. He is predominantly a right back.
Martin discusses Gareth’s strengths:
“Gareth is now an experienced player, he is competent on the ball, quick, strong and a good overall defender. I’m delighted to have him back with us for the new season.”
While Gary Burke made 14 league appearances last season having signed for the club from Bohemians. Gary is fight footed, can play on either wing or in the ‘hole’.
“I'm delighted to be back for another season, UCD is a great club so I'm really looking forward to this season. I'm injury free which I'm delighted about as I have had a bad injury which prevented me from getting a preseason under my belt the last couple of years. Pre season is going well and it was great to get a game in against Athlone and we play Rovers today so hopefully we can do even better this year in the league and cups.”
“UCD is the perfect club for me as Martin really encourages us to get the ball down and play, I wouldn't be suited in a team that just goes route one. The lads are great to be around and I'm really learning a lot off martin Collie, Dairmuid and the other coaching staff.”
“Martin is one of the main reason I decided to stay, I learned a lot from him last season so I was really happy to stay. He really encourages us to play football the right way and he pushes us in every training session to get better and better.”
And what about Burke’s personal aims for 2013?
“Personally I hope I can play even more games this year but it’s all about the team so if we can go on a cup run that would be great. We proved we are hard to beat on our day and we are no push over. so I can't wait to get started.
“We know every game we will have to work hard to get a good result, we are all young players and very determined so we won't lack spirit and effort. We will stick to our principles by playing the right way in every game. It’s going to be an exciting season with Limerick playing at Thomand Park so as young players you want to be playing in stadiums like that and showing what your all about.”
Gareth is also looking forward to the new season:
“I still kept in contact with some of the lads while I was with Shels so its great to be back playing with familiar faces and because of this have settled in quickly.”
“UCD is the best club for young players to be at, you always know what you'll get at UCD. Honest hard working and determined players who want to play football in the right way and that's exactly how I see myself as a player. The amount of players who have progressed their careers further from UCD speaks for itself, hopefully I continue my own progression and be similar to those lads. I'm also in my final year of college so I had to take that into consideration commuting to training and matches wasn't an option for me this year. UCD is close to my college DIT, my work and my house so it was the ideal place for me.”
Matthews is expecting a tough season:
“I feel the bigger teams in the league have gotten stronger with the signings made, but we just need to focus on our own game and with the young talent here at UCD I'm sure we can cause a few surprises during the season.”
“I have always admired Martin as a player and a manager. The style of play he focuses on is a joy to watch and even better to be involved in. The encouragement he shows for players to get on the ball and pass is the main reason for my decision to sign at UCD. I can't wait for the season to start.”