Both the manager and assistant manager of the DCU senior soccer team have called for a change to a Collingwood Cup ruling regarding players on professional contracts, branding it as “unfair”.
One of the rules associated with the Collingwood Cup, the premier intervarsity soccer competition in the country, states that universities are not allowed to use players that are on professional contracts with other clubs. According to the College & Universities Football League, this rule was brought in a number of years ago to restrict teams from “parachuting in players from Airtricity League clubs just for the Collingwood Cup.”
However DCU, along with a number of other universities, are now calling for the ruling to be changed due to the fact that UCD are exempt from abiding by it. According to the CUFL, the restriction does not apply to UCD because most of the players who play for the CUFL team also play for the Airtricity League team, which is also directly affiliated to the college. Coincidentally, UCD have won four of the last six Collingwood Cups and will be bidding for their third in a row when the competition gets underway this coming February.
Manager of the DCU senior team Declan Roche believes that the rule puts other universities at a massive disadvantage. Speaking to The College View, the former Shelbourne man said: “Last year I went up without two of our best players because I wasn’t allowed use them and a number of other colleges and universities are the same. But UCD are allowed use them, so it’s a bit unfair really, especially from the players point of view when I have to tell them they can’t play in it.
“We’re trying to have the rule changed and I know that there are others in the same boat. It’s going to affect teams if it’s not changed again this year so we’re hopeful that they’ll have a look at it and make it a fair playing field for everybody, but there’s no guarantee of that either.”
When asked about whether or not the rule would be changed, a representative of the CUFL said: “An EGM is due to be held soon, most likely before the end of this year. At the meeting a vote will be held on whether or not the rule will be changed.”
Assistant manager John Russell says he couldn’t believe the ruling when he came into the college as a coach last year.
“I think it’s mad. I couldn’t believe the rule when I came in last year. It doesn’t make any sense to me. UCD have a very good record in the Collingwood because they can call upon other players when other teams are restricted. It’s an unfair advantage and it’s always going to lead to questions. So what the college body have to do is either let other teams do it as well or else stop UCD from doing it.”
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