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2013 LSL Sunday Review With Steve Dillon

UCD AFC's Steve Dillon reviews an the year, concluding with promotion to the top LSL league.UCD LSL 2013

1. What were your expectations coming into the season?

We were expecting to get promotion but knew from last year how tough a league it is to get out of. All clubs are desperate to get a crack at the top league and we were even more so after missing out narrowly the year before.

2. What was pre season like?

Pre season was very well organised with a good balance between physical work and ball work. We ran hard for 3-4 weeks and then had 7 friendlies to get the match sharpness before the league began. We were fitter than previous years and concentrated on defending set pieces and cutting out errors that cost us last year.

3. Were there any additions to the squad this year that helped breath new life?

Stephen Doyle joined us from the first team and in his first game he scored two late goals to beat Drumcondra 2-1 in September. Since then he has had a great season for us on the right wing. We got a fully fit Fran Moran back after long term injury and he was like a new signing, outstanding all year in the middle and won our Player of the Year award. Unfortunately we lost our skipper Niall Daly to emigration in March and he was a massive loss both as a leader and a goal-scorer.

4. Who were the stand out players during the season?

Fran Moran deservedly won our Player of the Year award, mixing it in the middle with a range of passing and a physical presence. Michael Whelan scored important goals from out wide. James Timmons drove us on all year in midfield. Paul Curtin was outstanding on the left until a broken leg put him out for 3 months but his rehab went well and he scored last Sunday in his comeback game.

5. What were the pivotal moments during the season?

Some big moments. We beat Postal at home in January playing with 10 men for over an hour. Niall Daly scored a crucial late equalizer in next game against Belgrove an started a run in which we won 7 out of the next 10 games. April was a vital month for us. It began with a big win against Newtown away after going 1-0 down with twenty minutes, followed by a very late winner against Dublin Bus in the next game and point away to promotion rivals Greystones in the next game after playing with ten men for over an hour.

6. What does it mean to you to get to the top division?

Diarmuid McNally and Tony Sheridan have brought this team up through the leagues since we were freshers in 2003. They have built and re-built the team and the squad with the main aim to reach the Leinster Senior and their ambition and the players commitment has got us there and we are very proud to now have both Saturday and Sunday teams in their top divisions to add to first team in the Airtricity League Premier Divison.

7. Off the field what is the support like for the team from the coaching staff etc?

All players in UCD are treated like pros. We train in the best facilities and get the best gear and access to physios etc. The club is totally committed to developing players on and off the pitch and the support from the coaching staff is fantastic.

UCD LSL 2013