As the Irish based players in Ireland’s IC17 Squads prepare to leave for Melbourne in the days ahead, all the clubs which have brought the players into the game can be proud of their achievements, but perhaps none more so than the UCC Club. Having been founded by Danny O’ Brien back in 2013, the club has very quickly become the model for what a University team in Europe should be. Success for the club has followed on many levels, but most particularly this year, with the club hosting the Fitzpatrick Cup, and winning both Mens and Women’s divisions.
Success at representative level has followed and with three Bombers, one Crusader, and alumnus in the touring parties, there will be something of a Mardyke spirit in the camp. Add in the presence of Crusaders Coach Marie Keating in the Banshees lineup and you can see what a huge difference the club has made to footy in Ireland. The Coaching of Eoin Ó Suileabhain and a close relationship with the Leeside Lions has meant that while Muiris Bartley, Oisin Collins, Shane O’ Sullivan and Sarah O’ Donovan travel representing the club, recent graduates such as Paul Murphy and Padraig Lucey are involved too. In addition to that players such as Matt Bell, Dean Johnson, Ronan Sheehan, Peter Traynor, James Galvin and Richard McSweeney have also played for the Warriors at EuroCups in recent years and been part of the training squads, so on the whole the impact of the football club has been seismic in a very short period of time.
All of the club’s successes have been facilitated by the support of UCC Sport, who aside from providing great facilities and support, have also created opportunities to compete near and far by assisting the club and it’s players financially too, and all in ARFLI are grateful to them for that.