Few words before the big game tomorrow

Kick-off: Tuesday, 7:45pm, the Mardyke | Entry: €3

Tomorrow is the day! As we put in the final preparations for Tuesday’s league decider with Cobh Wanderers, club PRO Thomas Stafford caught up with UCC winger Shane Daly-Butz for a chat ahead of the big game.

Shane started off looking back on the season overall and believe that the college’s squad this year is capable of victory,
“After a very poor start to our league campaign this year we wouldn’t have thought that we could be in the driving seat at the end of the season. It came down to the wire last year against Avondale in the final game and we were a very nervous and inexperienced team. We were beaten then but I feel an extra sense of excitement this year. The majority of the players are still here and it gives us that extra bit of experience to get us over the line and get the result we need.”

The Ballincollig man is very quick to praise his coaches and teammates for what has been an incredible season for the side,
“After a poor start to the season it has only been positive since and I couldn’t be happier with the way the season has gone. There has been huge commitment from the lads and the managers. We’ve had to dig out a few tough results at times to get in the position that we’re currently in. All credit goes to the hard work that our managers put in to provide us with the best training and facilities they can.”

The former College Corinthians, Cobh Ramblers, and Cork City attacker is wary of the threat Wanderers will bring on Tuesday and how good a side they are,
“Cobh have shown in the last few years how dominant they can. The confidence in the side must be huge after reaching the Intermediate Cup final. We’ve played them twice this year with both games being a great, physical battle. They’re an experienced side with a fantastic season behind them and I expect nothing less than a very close game.”

Daly-Butz acknowledges the huge amount of games played this year but the work behind the scenes has ensured it didn’t take from the players’ performances,
“The huge volume of games definitely takes its toll on the body. We were extremely successful in our college games this year but those games were played midweek. We took time out of college and were playing almost 3 games week in week out. Playing upwards of 35-40 matches in a season did require a lot of recovery sessions which was provided to us. Our strength and conditioning coach, Dave O’Connell, works with us on a daily basis in the Mardyke and has been a huge help this year in terms of injury prevention and giving us tailored programmes to keep us all in shape.”

It’s always nice to look back on a season’s successes and Shane is quite proud of the team’s achievements this year,
“UCC has always had high expectations with their soccer teams and I was hoping that the season would be a success. The Collingwood was held in Maynooth this year and we ended up playing three Dublin teams, Trinity, DCU and then UCD in the final where Daniel pender scored a 94th minute goal to win us the tournament. We reached the final of the CUFL and hopefully we can claim the Munster Senior League title and top off what has been a great season.”

Daly-Butz has come on immensely as a player this season, recognised by inclusion in the Irish Amateur and Irish Colleges squads,
“I’m very happy with the way I’ve played this season. One of my big highlights is getting the opportunity to represent Ireland with the Irish amateurs and the Irish colleges. It’s a huge achievement for myself. I’m hoping to stay involved with both squads and be selected for the upcoming regions cup finals in Turkey and the World Student games in Taiwan in August. The Collingwood Cup has to be the big highlight of the year as its such a highly regarded prestigious cup in UCC. It’s been a great season and hopefully we can finish it off with the league title on Tuesday”

Below you can find the 8 minute long interview with Cobh Wanderers’ boss, Michael Deasy, about tomorrow’s event: