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SPLIT PERSONALITY

It's a football first. The manager who hopes one of his players will have a poor game. Diarmuid McNally, whose UCD side will be hoping to add the CUFL trophy to the Harding cup won earlier this month, won't be selecting midfielder Stephen Roche. He can't. Because although Stephen is a promising member of the Students senior League of Ireland squad, he's on a course at DIT ' who just happen to be UCD's opponents for Wednesday night's decider at Tolka Park. 'Stephen's been looking sharp in training with the League of Ireland squad,' reflects Diarmuid, 'And he's been outstanding for DIT. I'm hoping he has an off night on Wednesday.' The Colleges and Universities Football League is an FAI initiative created to provide a credible competition for third level students. It's now in its fourth year with UCD winners of the first two competitions. But, although the Blues will start favourites on Wednesday, the opposition are no mugs. The League of Ireland will be well represented in DIT's line up with Monaghan United central defenders Conor McMahon and Niall Flynn underpinning their defence. UCD, however, have the advantage of being able to chose a full team all with senior League of Ireland experience. McNally will be awaiting fitness checks on Paul Corry, Mick Kelly and Stephen Doyle before he names his side. As for Stephen Roche, he'll be hoping his performance on the night will be good enough to get him into the squad for UCD's first senior competitive match, the Leinster Senior Cup match against Bangor Celtic at the Iveagh Grounds on Friday. Diarmuid McNally will be hoping it's not so good as to embarrass his opponents.