Nine key players from the 2012 season have re-signed with UCD AFC for the 2013 campaign, due to begin on Friday March 8th away to Bohemians. Goalkeeper Ger Barron was first to sign, and was followed the next day by defender Hughie Douglas, winger/full back Sean Russell, defender/midfielder James Kavanagh and striker/winger Dean Clarke.
A few days later, UCD AFC announced that captain Mick Leahy would return alongside David O’Connor in defense while striker Dave McMillan and midfielder Robbie Creevy would also be re-joining the Students for another year.
UCD will be looking to build on a strong finish to the 2012 campaign, which saw them earn twenty points from their last twelve games after a less than impressive beginning to the campaign. UCD’s first home game of the season will be against Derry City in the Belfield Bowl, on the evening of Friday March 15th.
UCD J1 recorded an impressive away victory over Old Belvedere in the J1 League on Sunday 13th of January. Paddy Dix grabbed a hat-trick of tries for Collidge as they ran out 12-19 winners in the first game of the new year in the league.
Meanwhile, the under-21s also recorded an impressive victory, this time away to Lansdowne in the JP Fangan League. UCD overcame a 11-0 deficit at half time to eventually run out as 11-15 victors thanks to a brilliant solo try from James Carroll and a try from Chris Best, after perfectly-timed offload from Philip O’Neil.
The win means UCD leapfrog Lansdowne in to first place in the group, but their lead is only one point. In the J1 League, UCD lie in fifth place out of the seven teams, although they are comfortably ahead of sixth place.
EAA scholarship, athlete Ciara Everard, spent some time over the Christmas break training in South Africa at altitude in order to avail of the warm weather in a camp in which she was accompanied by 2011 club captain Richard Owens and UCD MD coach James Nolan.
There are high hopes for Everard, whose first race is planned for January 27th, as is Owens’. Everard broke Sonia O’Sullivan’s national record over 800m in her 2012 indoor season.
Two other UCD athletes, Dan King and Cathal Daly, were also undertaking warm weather training during the Christmas break, this time in Grand Canaria in Spain.
Reporting by Kevin Beirne