DCU Sigerson manager Paddy Christie and Fitzgibbon manager Eoin Roche hope to rebuild their squads and push for silverware this season after a disappointing GAA All Ireland campaign last year in both codes.
UCD footballers stormed away in the second half to beat DCU Dóchas Éireann by ten points on a torrential evening in Belfield in the Sigerson Cup quarter final last February.
Following the recent years of quarter-final heartbreaks during the realm of legendary manager Niall Moyna, Paddy Christie, in his second year in charge believes his team has learned from their mistakes to finally now gather a team with enough experience to finally seek success at the highest grade of third level football.
“There is always big demands for GAA to be successful in DCU. It is a high standard of football and you always have to be mentally and physically ready for the challenge as a player,” Christie said.
DCU last won the Sigerson championship back in 2015. However, Fresher’s football in DCU has been striving in the past number of years, making four finals in a row, winning three of them.
“Fresher football has produced some great players in the past few years with Kieran Dwyer, Luke Towey, Sean Bugler and David Garland all coming from Fresher football to starting on the Sigerson team,” said Christie.
While DCU football may not have been at its best over the past number of years, the same cannot fully be said for the DCU hurlers who finished last year’s campaign as league champions under the guidance of manager Eoin Roche who feels hurling is the strongest it’s ever been in DCU.
“The fact we are hosting the Fitzgibbon final this year I think will highlight how hurling is on the rise. We want to make hurling one of the top sports in the University and one of the strongest hurling colleges in the country,” Roche told the College View.
The hurlers unfortunately were not able to replicate the same success in the Fitzgibbon cup as they did in the league and were ultimately knocked out by UCC in the semi-finals by one point due to a debateable refereeing decision to award UCC a last-minute penalty which UCC scored to send them to the final.
“We shouldn’t have been in the situation we were in; I think UCC were perhaps the better team on that day, we missed a good few chances, but if we played the way we know we can we honestly could have been home and dry early on,” said Roche.
Eoin Roche who guided DCU to their first ever Fitzgibbon final back in 2018 knows that there is also a need to rebuild his panel after the loss of many key players who were essential to his success over the past two seasons.
“We lost a lot of players this season, so the young players will be coming in and hopefully adapt very quickly to the squad, but we are very lucky to have the players we have, so we want to build momentum from the start, so our first aim is to retain the league” said Roche.
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