"Captaining the UCD team that won the First Division is my greatest moment so far"
Ronan Finn, UCD AFC Club Captain, 2009, Graduate UCD Sports Management Degree Programme
"I loved it, the grass always seems greener elsewhere as a young player at UCD... But it isn't!"
Darren Quigley, UCD AFC Soccer Scholarship
Elite Athlete Academy
The UCD Elite Athlete Academy is a new scholarship programme specifically for students who wish to compete and succeed at the highest sporting levels while simultaneously attaining a degree in UCD. The Elite Academy supports high calibre athletes striving for sporting and academic success to allow them to reach their maximum potential inside and outside the classroom.
To learn more about the Elite Athlete Academy, click here.
UCD AFC Scholarship Programme
The U.C.D. Scholarship programme has for over 20 years provided a viable and real alternative for the talented footballing youngster who up until recently had to make the decision to give up his education prospects in order to take his chance in English Football. The Scholarship Holder is afforded the best chance to progress his footballing talent in a controlled environment and at the same time guarantees his career prospects outside football, without jeopardising his chances of becoming a full-time professional. The vast majority of previous Scholarship players have gone on to enjoy very successful careers in the financial/business world, while many achieved very successful careers in football as a result of the Scholarship system. A U.C.D. Scholarship can provide you with the following benefits: -
- A Third Level education in one of U.C.D.’s many degree and diploma courses (including the Diploma in Sports Management)** therefore providing an opportunity outside of football.
- The opportunity to play at the highest level of football in the country.
- Access to some of the best training facilities in the country.
- Eleven Grass Pitches.
- Two Floodlit Training Pitches.
- One Floodlit All-Weather Training Pitch.
- State of the Art Fitness Suite.
- New full-time coach whose aim is to develop all Scholarship players.
- Access to top-class Physiotherapy and Medical Treatment.
“We have a process that is good for Ireland and the National League. We’re not going to be able to turn things around overnight but I think the U.C.D. model is something that more clubs are going to have a look at.”
Brian Kerr, Republic of Ireland Youth Manager
7th May, 1998 (Irish Independent)
The reputation of the Scholarship Scheme was further enhanced in recent years with its linkage to the New ERA (Equal Rights To Access) Programme at U.C.D. whereby students from designated disadvantaged areas throughout the country are facilitated in terms of University entrance. Because of the nature of soccer in terms of its socio-economic background, the availability of scholarships has provided a vital motivating factor for players to enrol at U.C.D., who might otherwise not have had the incentive to try.
** The Diploma in Sports Management is not a CAO course and can be applied for separately**
How to Apply
- You must apply separately to the CAO (except for Diploma in Sports Management) and satisfy the normal academic entry requirements. Obviously, your CAO form should be completed in such a way that U.C.D. courses figure high on the list of preferences. For the Diploma in Sports Management, an application form can be obtained from the Department of Sports Studies at 01 716 8714/8712.
- The Soccer Application Form should be completed carefully and sent to the address specified.
- The Soccer Scholarship Application Form should be accompanied by references from your current club’s secretary/manager/coach and from your schools headmaster/games master.
- If you have not applied for a course in U.C.D., the change of CAO date is 1st July where you can alter your current choice of Third Level courses.
Unsuccessful applicants for Soccer Scholarships should not in any way feel that they are unwelcome to play for the club, if they decide to attend U.C.D. In some cases a player who is unsuccessful may be further assessed during a season and subsequently offered a Soccer Scholarship, the following year. A “Deferred Scholarship Offer” may be made to an individual chosen on his footballing ability but unsuccessful in his application to U.C.D. If the player is prepared to repeat his Leaving Cert or wait until a suitable degree/diploma cycle is due, he can accept the Soccer Scholarship provisionally.
The Next Step
If you do not receive an acknowledgement within 14 days please contact the Soccer Scholarship Office. Do not process your application through the U.C.D. Admissions Office. At the conclusion of the Leaving Certificate examinations, you will be invited to attend trial matches at Belfield and may be asked to return on a number of occasions. Because of the administrive workload, ONLY SUCCESSFUL APPLICANTS WILL BE NOTIFIED. Provisional offers of Soccer Scholarships may be made in advance of the announcement of CAO offers. Such offers are then confirmed after the CAO has completed its offers. Deferred Offers of Soccer Scholarships may also be made at this stage.
Apply to Join the U.C.D. Soccer Scholarship Academy Now!!
Secure your future and play Soccer at the highest level.
For Further Queries & Return of Applications Contact:
1. U.C.D. Sports Information Office,
Room 202, Sports Centre,
Tel: 01 716 2183
2. Diarmuid McNally at UCD Soccer Club
Tel: 01 716 2142
A Final Word
UCD Soccer Club understands the nature of Soccer Scholarships better than anyone else. Scholarships are not just about benefits and opportunities. Soccer Scholarships are really worthwhile when the environment they provide is right and UCD has the experience and expertise to balance the academic requirements with the footballing aspects. Soccer Scholarships give the full-time professional aspirant a “Safety Net” and all players the perfect launching pad for their footballing and personal careers