Institute of Technology Carlow Soccer Students receive 1st International Caps
Three Institute of Technology Carlow students have received their first international caps for Ireland from the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) as a result of their participation with the Irish Colleges and Universities squad 2016/2017.
Shane Dunne, a graduate of BA Sports Management and Coaching, Eoghan Dempsey, a third-year student of the BA in Sports Management and Coaching and BSc. Sport Science student Gareth McDonagh received their caps from FAI chief executive John Delaney at the Aviva Stadium on 7th November during FAI Cup Finals Day.
The trio are members of the Irish Colleges and Universities squad that played a number of high profile international fixtures in the 2016-2017 season. As a result of its success in its first year, the FAI agreed to award international caps to all players that played for the side and be recognised at the 3 FAI International Player of the Year awards ceremony
The Colleges and Universities Football League has grown from strength to strength in its twelve seasons of existence. The league currently contains eighty-one teams across five tiers of men’s football along with the twenty-eight women’s teams competing across two divisions in the competition. In 2015, following decades of competing as national representative sides as Colleges and Universities individually, both affiliates agreed, in conjunction with the FAI, upon forming a combined international team to compete at international level.
Players are becoming increasingly aware of the opportunities on offer at third-level with the opportunity to further their academic progression and play football at a competitive elite level. Scholarships available have enticed nearly ninety players from the SSE Airtricity League to continue their education.
Donal McNally, director of sport at Institute of Technology Carlow, commented, “We're delighted for Gareth, Eoghan and Shane who formally received their first international caps. We commend those working in the background to make this possible. It's a fantastic achievement for the players personally but also highlights the work being done by third-level coaches and administrators to ensure our players are provided with a pathway which enables them combine education and football at the highest level. We look forward to our next group of Institute of Technology Carlow students who will have the same opportunities to pull on the green jersey and represent themselves and the Institute on the international stage.”
Luke Hardy, head of the BA in Sport & Exercise (Soccer) at Institute of Technology Carlow added, “It’s great that students are provided with a pathway through third-level football to receive international caps and the opportunity to play in World University Games every two years. We hope a number of our students will be selected for upcoming games this year versus France, Scotland, Defence Forces and Wales, and the next Games in Naples in 2019”.
For reference: Alma Feeley, Communications Dept., Institute of Technology Carlow
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