The DCU Mens’ and Ladies’ Soccer clubs can count themselves proud after four DCU students donned the green jersey and represented their country last week.
Defenders Ross Taheny and Tristan Noack-Hofmann, and striker Alan O’Sullivan were all present as the Irish Universities side overcame their Scottish counterparts 1-0 at Oriel Park, while Amber Barrett came off the bench in both of the Republic of Ireland’s 2019 World Cup qualifiers against Slovakia and the Netherlands in Tallaght – scoring a belter of a winning goal against the Slovaks.
Barrett’s vital winner came into sharper focus after the Girls in Green were beaten 2-0 by European Champions Holland on Tuesday, and four points from their double-header with Norway in June would put them in a great position to qualify.
“It was a surreal feeling when the ball hit the back of the net, at times it’s difficult to express how I felt at that moment but so important that we got the goal to get the victory,” Barrett said.
“As a striker you always want to be on the score sheet and obviously scoring my first international goal is a special moment for me and to do it with such a fantastic crowd supporting made it even more special.”
“[The Dutch game was] Disappointing in the way that we conceded the goals and disappointing to lose the game.”
“They are fantastic opposition and we could have got something from the game, it ultimately makes the Norway games the biggest games that we will have in the group as so much depends on it.”
“The crowds for the two games were massive and it just goes to show that publicity and media attention can increase crowd numbers hugely.”
In the inter-uni clash Taheny – who was nominated for University International Player of the Year – regretted that the home side didn’t kill off the Scots sooner.
“It was tighter than previous years but we were a bit wasteful in front of goal and could’ve killed the game off much earlier.”
“We’ll be confident going into the next games as we always are because it’s a good group of players and we enjoy playing together.”
Daire O’Connor of UCD – DCU’s conquerors at both Senior and Fresher level this year – netted the winner after ten minutes, but Taheny revealed there is no Collingwood Cup-related tension in the squad.
“It’s an easy group to settle into as it’s very relaxed environment and the boys are easy to get on with,” Taheny said.
“There’s always gonna be a bit of rivalry when we’re playing for different unis and play each other year in year out but a lot of us have been away together and get on well.”
Image Credit: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile