By John Hudson
Cillian Duffy is hoping to make his international debut for the Irish Colleges and Universities when they take on the French Universities in a friendly fixture at Bordeaux to-morrow Tuesday (May 21) kick off at 10.30 Irish time.
The inform Maynooth University Town winger opted to miss his club’s Leinster Senior League Metropolitan Cup semi final with Crumlin United and travel to France as he bids to establish himself in the students international squad ahead of the World University Games in July.
Duffy has played a major role in Maynooth University Town’s success over the past two seasons where they captured the FAI Intermediate Cup last year and went on to recently clinch the Leinster Senior League Senior One title and promotion to the top flight with a 13 point advantage over their nearest rivals.
The Maynooth University student impressed for the Colleges and Universities heading a goal in their resounding 5-0 win over the Irish Defence Forces in March and with the World University Games in Naples coming up in July Duffy will be keen to nail down a place in head coach Greg Yelverton’s 20-man squad for the tournament where the Irish are set to face South Korea and Uruguay in Pool A.
Yelverton will be aiming for back to back victories against the French after goals from Georgie Poynton and Darragh Gibbons saw the Irish record a 2-1 win, their first success following defeats in two previous meeting.
However this time on their home patch Yelverton expects a really stiff test from the French.
“It’s a great opportunity for our players to prove themselves against top opposition. France are one of the top teams in International University Football and will be well motivated following last year’s defeat and with their own preparations for the World Games well under way. We had a great victory against them last year in Longford and the objective this time will be to replicate that feat” he said.
“We have approximately thirty players at the moment still in consideration for Italy. This game will be important for the eighteen players we have here to impress me enough to guarantee their place for Naples.
“Also there are a number of players who are unfortunate to miss out on travelling to France due to exams and club commitments but we are still keeping an eye on them in club games before the Naples squad is named” added Yelverton.
The Irish management were forced to make a late change to squad over the weekend with Waterford FC under 19’s defender Darryl Walsh replacing Conor Keeley after the Cabinteely FC man picked up an injury in Saturday night’s Division One game against Drogheda United.
Irish Colleges and Universities squad
Goalkeepers: David Coffey (UCC/UCC AFC), Paul Martin (Waterford IT/Waterford FC).
Defenders: Ronan Young (Queen’s University Belfast/Queens University AFC)), Tristan Noack-Hofmann (DCU/Longford Twon), Gordon Walker (UCC/UCC AFC), Rob Slevin (UCC/UCC AFC), Joe Manley (TU Dublin- Blanchardstown/Longford Town), Darryl Walsh (Waterford IT/Waterford FC).
Midfielders: Dean Kelly (IT Carlow/ New Oak Boys FC), Pierce Phillips (UCC/ Cork City), Jamie Hollywood (TU Dublin-Blanchardstown/Longford Town), David Hurley (UCC/Cobh Ramblers), Sean McSweeney (University of Limerick/Limerick FC), Cillian Duffy (Maynooth University/Maynooth University Town AFC).
Forwards: Alan O’Sullivan (IT Carlow/ Warrenpoint Town), Michael Scott (TU Dublin-Blanchardstown/Killester-Donnycarney AFC), Simon Falvey (UCC/UCC AFC), Aaron Dobbs (TU Dublin-City Campus/Longford Town).
Head Coach: Greg Yelverton (UCC) Assistant: Luke Hardy (IT Carlow).