cufl premier division final it carlow preview

15 February 2011

IT CARLOW coach Paul O’Reilly insists there is no pressure on his side ahead of tonight’s CUFL Premier Division League Final against ITT Dublin. The game has been switched from the original venue of Tallaght Stadium to Home Farm FC’s ground at Whitehall.

O’Reilly and his side are considered favourites for the trophy after an impressive string of results en route to the final.

IT Carlow won all five of their Premier Division West fixtures and rattled up 19 goals in those five games. A 2-1 win over NUI Maynooth in the quarter-finals was followed up by an emphatic 4-1 win over Cork IT in the last four.

“We’ve played some good football and scored plenty of goals so you would have to be happy with how we’ve done,” said O’Reilly.

The college has a massive asset in the fact that it runs a BA in Sports & Exercise (Soccer) in conjunction with the FAI which has helped them attract a number of Airtricity League players to IT Carlow.

O’Reilly acknowledges that the course has helped boost the strength of options the midlands outfit has to choose from.

“It makes most of our games like cup finals for the opposition as everybody wants to beat the team with the football course,” he said.

“Of course the course has helped and many of the lads from the course make up the core of the team.

“They’re a professional bunch of lads in their approach to the game and I think that’s shown by how they’ve played this year.”

IT Carlow will be missing leading scorer Tom Elmes through suspension but O’Reilly believes there is enough talent in their ranks to compensate.

“Shane Tracy has done really well for us and it’s great to see a lad like that coming back from playing in England with Arsenal and then returning to education,” he said.

“Craig Wall and Ben Ryan from Wexford Youths have both had good seasons too. Losing Tom will be a blow but we’re hopeful we can still come up with the goods.”

O’Reilly has the height of respect for Pat Scully’s ITT Dublin side, who have progressed to the final after 1-0 wins over DIT and UUJ in the knockout stages.

“We got a report on their game against UUJ and the feedback was that IT Tallaght are strong and well-organised with a very good defence,” he said.

“With the likes of Don Cowan and Dave Webster in their ranks they have a lot of quality and I’m expecting it to be a very interesting game.”

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