UCD AFC’s preparation for the new season has suffered a huge setback with the loss of influential captain and dynamic midfielder Ronan Finn to newly promoted side Sporting Fingal. Rumours were circulating before the end of the season that a move was afoot for the once Irish Under-21 international with a move to Britain not out of the question.
Though still of a very young age, Finn (21) was regarded as one of the key senior members of UCD’s Division One title winning side that gained promotion back to the Premier division following a one year absence. During his five year tenure at the club he showed great commitment to the club and was one of the few players to stay after relegation in 2008.
This move opens up a broad spectrum of opportunities for the PFAI Player of the Year as he joins Sporting Fingal on their venture into the Premier Division and Europa League next season. Speaking following the move, Finn cited furthering his education as a key factor in making the switch to the North County Dublin side.
“As a native of Artane in North County Dublin, I am delighted to be signing for Sporting Fingal. One of the main factors in my decision-making was the club’s scholarship scheme which is operated in tandem with Dublin City University (DCU).
“Having completed a Degree in Sports Management at UCD last year, it was my intention to resume my studies when the opportunity presented itself and I will be applying to start a Masters Degree in Business Management at DCU for the next academic year.”
He continued “Leaving UCD was a decision I didn’t take lightly. I had the option to stay at Belfield or move to other clubs in the Premier Division but Fingal provided the best opportunity to fulfill my football and educational ambitions.”
Finn’s move will not come as a major shock to UCD management, though Martin Russell and Diarmuid McNally may need to reconsider their initial plans of not recruiting any new players in the close season if the college side are to avoid relegation.