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DUAFC back on track this year

Published: 13th December 2017

The 2016/2017 season was a difficult one for Dublin University Association Football Club (DUAFC). They were relegated from the Leinster Senior League 1A Sunday with just 15 points from their 26 games. The College & Universities League didn’t fare much better with only one win in five games.

Now, almost halfway through the new campaign, DUAFC are sitting second in the LSL 1B Sunday with three games in hand on leaders Mullingar Athletic.

According to team captain Robbie Gaul, the team is in a far healthier position than it was in 12 months ago.

“The team went down a division from last season which is a factor, although there isn't much between both leagues and I believe we would still be in a similar position in the league above.

“There were three different management teams during the course of last season which also disrupted the team, while this year the current management were able to build a solid foundation through pre-season. And last and probably most importantly, a number of new players have come in, in key positions, which has strengthened the side.”

Manager Richie Maguire credits the turnaround in form with a change in attitude and belief.

“There is a strong work ethic among the players now and we have benefited because of this. The attitude has changed in that the team now expects to win games every time we step out onto the pitch.”

He also highlighted that the club is still meeting the goals they set in pre-season.

“Our ambition was to stay in the top tier of university soccer and we have achieved this. We also want to win the league and the Collingwood cup and we’re still on course to achieve this.”

Despite having eight wins from nine games in the LSL, the team has still found it tough going in the College & Universities League this year. This is something which Robbie accredits to the partnerships with League of Ireland teams built by some of the other universities.

“There is quite a big standard difference between the colleges league and LSL 1B. In recent years the colleges league has vastly improved and now teams in our Premier Division are predominantly made up of League of Ireland.”

The key factor this year, Robbie finds, is that the work has been put in to recruit and administrate the club better but there is one key area left to improve.

“I think a push needs to be made by us to promote the college football team in and around the college.

“We have already set about correcting this by linking with the women's team, organising more DUAFC events and getting involved in voluntary work. One key development which I have been involved with is helping run the STAR programme along with Caroline Duggan from Trinity Sport and the Trinity Access Programme (TAP) to encourage third level education among kids in DEIS schools around Dublin.”

  • For more on DUAFC they are on Facebook and their Twitter handle is @D_U_A_F_C