Winter 2015-16 Close Season Transfer

With UCD AFC preparing for the 2016 Airtricity League and our second season-in-a-row in the First Division for the first time since 1994-95 season we note some of the Players joining or leaving the UCD Bowl.

Chris Mulhall (winger) to Limerick FC
Chris Mulhall v. F91 Dudelange(hard working Chris Mulhall launches another attack at home against F91 Dudelange in July 2015)

Chris is leaving UCD again after his second spell with The Students, the Portlaoise native is joining ex-UCD manager and Coach Martin Russell at The Market’s Field. We’ll meet again in next season First Division. Chris was a leader for us during the year and caused opposition teams problems, injury and suspension reduced the amount of games he played and he was missed towards the end of the year.

UCD’s Captain Robbie Benson (Midfielder) to Dundalk FC (Double Winners 2015)
Robbie Benson scores again for UCD AFC
(Robbie celebrates another goal at UCD Bowl)

Robbie joined UCD from Athlone Town 2011 and made an immediate impact that year, scoring against Shamrock Rovers in Tallaght and the equaliser at UCD Bowl which silenced the large Away support. Scoring five goals that season including a brace at The Showgrounds, Sligo. UCD Fans admiration for the Athlone native grew and his leadership qualities came to the fore in the years that followed. Scoring a sublime goal away to Derry City at The Brandywell to reignite UCD’s survival in 2014.

But not even a brace of goals live on TV versus St. Pats (which surprised nobody) could prevent UCD suffering relegation after losing a Play-Off to Galway FC (who changed their name to Galway Utd. in 2015) at the end of that 2014 season. Quiet-spoken Benson’s quality in talent and leadership reached another plateau during the Summer of 2015. When the UCD Players faced unknown challenges in the UEFA Europa League, Robbie’s confidence and demeanour spread through the rest of the squad and with Benson assisting Ryan Swan’s goals UCD went past F91 Dudelange and played four games in Europe for the first time in their history.
The first League match after those emotionally exhausting games was against table-toppers Finn Harps three days after a 1-5 reverse against ŠK Slovan Bratislava. It was a Benson goal just after half-time which settled the team and The Students went on a five game winning streak, matching a run in 2009 in the First Division.

Robbie is a joy to watch and he’ll be missed at the UCD Bowl, but his move to the Double winners and two-in-a-row Champions should be the incentive for UCD Fans to support The Students next year, get ourselves promoted back to the Premier Division so UCD can face the best in the League once again.

Jamie Doyle (winger) to Shelbourne FC
UCD's Jamie Doyle v. Sk Slovan Bratislava, UCD Bowl 2015

Tall, rangy, elegant winger who, this season, scored at least three times in the League by galloping down the wing, reached the by-line and firing a low cross that was turned into the net by an opposition defender, facing their own goal. His strength got UCD’s lead goal up at Finn Park in the Play-Offs, he was destroying the home defence when he was tackled from behind and was subbed-off injured. UCD’s danger fizzled out after that. UCD Fans will see him in the First Division playing for The Reds, they’ll be ding-dong matches.

Eoin Kirwan (Midfield/Winger) to Malahide United (Leinster Senior League)
Eoin Kirwan v. Sherriff YC in FAI Cup 2015
(Eoin Kirwan v. Sherriff YC in FAI Cup 2015)

We’ve lost Eoin a couple of seasons too soon as he returns to home territory. He was part of a young crop of Players at UCD Bowl that will be the core of the team in future seasons. Eoin made his League debut for UCD as sub in our first league match away to Cobh Ramblers in March 2015, started in the EA Sports Cup defeat to new boys Cabinteely FC before making his full debut at home to Waterford United in April. Came on for Jamie Doyle in the 2nd leg of the UEFA Europa League 2nd round versus ŠK Slovan Bratislava. Moving out of the Airtricity League may seem unusual, but he won’t have to wait until March 2016 to play football.

UCD AFC Supporters Club want to wish the best of luck to the four Players above and any other Players or Staff from UCD AFC who are moving on before next season. You guys brought us wonderful memories this year as well as other years and we hope you keep up the high standard you set for yourselves this year.

Thanks for Everything.

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