DCU’s soccer team have continued to be a competitive force in Ireland this year.
The men’s team have have seen 3 of their 5 Colleges & Universities Football League teams qualify out of their groups to the knockout stages with the senior team losing on penalties in the semi-finals to eventual champions UCD.
The C team saw a similar outcome, this time going down to Maynooth in the final while the D team lost at the quarter final stage. The freshers team suffered at the hands of the same opponents in the quarter finals of the Harding Cup which DCU hosted.
Fran Butler, the clubs Soccer Development Officer, said “Overall at senior level, I would say that we are now firmly established as one of the top 4/5 teams in the country thanks to the work of Declan Roche and his coaching staff but for whatever reason we have just missed out on the main prizes on offer over the last two years.
“For the first time in three years our Fresher’s failed to reach the Harding Cup final which was a disappointment but on the positive side the club received a lot of recognition for it’s hosting of the event.”
He also believed that having all the games in the one venue at the same time, on the pitches in the AUL and holding the final at Tolka Park gave the competition a real sense of occasion.
“We were very grateful to Shelbourne FC for the use of Tolka Park and the since announced formal link with Shelbourne FC and DCU will hopefully lead to success on and off the field for both,” he said.
Following a more difficult year for the ladies team Butler also said “DCU Ladies Soccer are, I feel, experiencing a tough period of transition after returning to the Premier Division of the league but I believe that the future is bright with more players on Scholarships and their senior squad making use of the gym on a regular basis.”
The Powerchair Football team, DCU Storm, have however dominated domestically winning all four trophies on offer last year. That clean sweep has led to them once again representing Ireland in the Champions League next October.
Outside of competitions, the Futsal and 5 aside offerings continue to grow and are extremely important in creating a healthy campus. These are all areas that we can continue to develop and improve and with the continued backing from so many within the University.
Butler’s final words looked to the future; “I believe we can in the medium to long term establish ourselves as the place to come to for prospective students wishing to combine academics with development of their football careers.
“This is our aim for the future.”