This week on the show we’re pulling back the curtain at UCD with their long standing staff member and current Director of Football Diarmuid McNally as he joins Dean Zambra and Breifne Earley to chat about how the Belfield club prioritises developing promising talent both on and off the pitch.
Firstly Dean (0:16) gets a dressing down for conveniently omitting some big news the last time we recorded an episode before Dean starts the show properly with a look back at the weekend’s action (1:31) in the Premier and First Divisions including his own sides valuable point in Finn Park with a controversial opener for Aaron Dobbs, Chris Shield’s final outing at Oriel Park and Sligo Rovers demolition of Bohemians inspired by Johnny Kenny’s great performance.
Diarmuid McNally (18:11) discusses the ethos of UCD, how they’ve gravitated back towards being a student club and the differing impacts that decision has had on their results and financial situation. He talks about the changing face of player development in the country as the League of Ireland becomes more involved in the process and the traditional schoolboy clubs are feeling the pinch.
Diarmuid discusses their link up with Mount Merrion at underage level which keeps that nursery involved in the elite side of the game and muses on some of the options which might allow historic clubs to stay involved.
He finishes with a trip down memory lane to discuss some of the stars who have won Leagues, Cups and enjoyed long professional careers at home and abroad after spending a few years with the College.
Finally, Dean and Breifne take a look at the weekend’s action (46:53) in both divisions of the league.