16 May 2016
Head Coach Greg Yelverton expects the Irish Colleges and Universities national side to face the toughest test yet in their final fixture of the season when they meet the formidable French Universities at Home Farm FC, Whitehall this Wednesday May 18 (2.30).
The unbeaten newly established Irish outfit have already accounted for both the Scottish and Welsh Universities in a series of international friendlies over the past few weeks but the game against France may prove to be a much more difficult affair.
"We did really well to defeat the Scots 3-0 in our first outing on a
rain sodden pitch at Home Farm last month and then take an excellent 1-0 win from the visit to Wales a few week later but we expect the French to be a step up in class," pointed out Yelverton.
"The French are strong at this level as football in colleges and
universities over there is taken very seriously and is highly organised which gives them a huge number of top class players to select from. At world level too the French have always performed to a high standard at the World University Games," added Yelverton.
In fact the French captured the Gold Medal as recently as 2013 at the World University Games in Kazan Russia, defeating the fancied Great Britain 3-2 after extra time, having already knocked out Ireland in the quarter finals on penalties.
While last year at the games in Gwanju South Korea the Ireland side got their revenge with a 7-6 victory on penalties after the play off tie for positions five to eight ended at 1-1.
Yelverton's side performed really well in their two previous games against Scotland and Wales and for the French game the head coach has changed the squad very little with UCC defender Sean O╣Mahony coming back in after missing the Wales game due to exams while Cork IT midfielder Shane O'Connor who had spells with Liverpool and Ipswich Town at one time and is presently at Cobh Ramblers receives his first call up to the squad.
Irish Colleges & Universities squad
Goalkeepers: Matthew Connor (Waterford IT), Joe Coll (Galway-Mayo IT).
Defenders: Aaron Brilly (Dublin IT), Sean O╣Mahony (UCC), Paul Rooney (Maynooth University), Ross Taheny (St. Patrick╣s College Drumcondra), Gavin Kearney (DCU), Gerard O'Boyle (IT Carlow).
Midfielders: Anthony McAlavey (IT Carlow), John McKeown (Maynooth University), Conor Barry (NUI Galway), Danny O╣Connell (Cork IT), Georgie Poynton (O╣Fiaich Institute of FE Dundalk), Kieran McDaid (IT Carlow), Shane O'Connor (Cork IT), Jason McClelland (UCD).
Forwards: Jason Lyons (Athlone IT), Dean Broaders (IT Carlow).
Head Coach: Greg Yelverton.