New Colleges FAI (CFAI) Chairman Paul Walsh acknowledges the challenges that lie ahead for football in the third level sector during the coming months.
Walsh the Sports Officer at Griffith College Dublin has stepped up to the chairman’s role after spending the past nine season’s as CFAI secretary.
By JOHN HUDSON
The recent AGM of the all island organisation saw the outgoing chairman Joe O’Brien come to the end of his four year fixed term of office and Walsh take over.
The long serving O’Brien is currently a member of the FAI Board of Directors and he will still remain on the CFAI executive committee in the role of Competitions Co Ordinator along with Paddy Gallagher.
Walsh is certainly not daunted at taking on the chairman’s role in these challenging times.
‘At the moment we are totally in the dark as to how the new season will pan out and we will be guided by the advise from both the FAI and of course the colleges and universities authorities as to how and when we could begin our season.
‘But we remain very positive and look forward to seeing plenty of football played in third level competitions again.
‘To deal with any problems that may arise in running our competitions in the coming season a temporary motion for one year only was passed at the agm giving the CFAI executive committee the power to alter and amend the rules of these competitions as they feel is necessary.
‘Luckily our season had been successfully completed a week before the FAI directive to close down all football activities back in March. The traditional end of season finals of our five knock out competitions took place over two days in the Athlone Town Stadium and resulted in the trophies been spread around five different colleges.
‘What pleased me most at the finals was to see a little bit of history been made when IT Tralee capture the Challenge Cup, claiming their first ever trophy in Colleges and Universities football after many years of trying. You could see that it meant such a lot to them and the enthusiasm of the team and fans that day was really heartening.’
Walsh now heads up an organisation with 36 members including a Technology University, Institutes of Technology and Colleges Further Education on the island of Ireland.
The CFAI organise five knock out competitions of various grades each season and 60 teams took part in these competitions during the past season.
While most of those sides also play in the various divisions of the Colleges and Universities Football League (CUFL) which is another all island competition that also include the Irish Universities Football Union sides.
CFAI Executive Committee 2020-2021
Chairman: Paul Walsh (Griffith College Dublin).
Secretary: Stephen Cleary (National College of Ireland).
Treasurer: Michael Mooring (Limerick IT).
Competitions Co Ordinators: Paddy Gallagher (Letterkenny IT), Joe O’Brien (TU Dublin-City Campus).
Committee members: Gordon Brett (Athlone IT), Tim O’Connor (TU Dublin-Tallaght).
CFAI Trophy Winners 2019-2020
Perpetual Cup: IT Carlow
Perpetual Shield: TU Dublin-Blanchardstown ‘B’
Challenge Cup: IT Tralee
Eustace Cup: TU Dublin-City Campus ‘C’
Eustace Shield: Cork IT ‘D’