Fair Play could land UCD a place in UEFA Cup

CORK City and Derry City may have topped the league but they have been forced to play second fiddle to UCD in the 2005 eircom league Premier Division Fair Play table.

The students claimed first place with a total of 1,072 points. As well as scooping the €4,500 prize money, UCD could now also be in line for a place in next season’s UEFA Cup by way of the Fair Play draw which gives three clubs entry to the competition each year.

Cork and Derry, whose fight for the Premier Division title went down to the wire and a last-day decider at Turner’s Cross, couldn’t be separated in the Fair Play stakes, tying on 1,070 points and sharing the €2,000 second-place prize money.

In the First Division, Dundalk claimed top spot and a cheque for €4,500 with a tally of 1,153 points, just three points ahead of Limerick on 1,150 points and they receive €2,000.

Congratulating the clubs, eircom League Chairman Paddy McCaul said: “Fair Play is a cornerstone of football the world over and as well as the rewards on offer to eircom League clubs in terms of prize money, it’s great to see UCD in with a chance of a place in the UEFA Cup.”

Meanwhile, former Ireland manager Brian Kerr is lending his name to what the organisers are calling Ireland’s first intercontinental Champions’ League, involving 16 teams drawn from the country’s ethnic communities.

Organised by Sport Against Racism Ireland (SARI), The Brian Kerr Intercontinental League 2006 will open with a game between China and Poland at Dalymount Park on Thursday January 19. All the competing teams will march behind the Garda Band before Brian Kerr kicks off the opening game.

Teams taking part in the tournament include Somalia, Algeria, Angola, Zimbabwe, Poland, Italy, Libya, South Africa, Ireland, Ivory Coast, Roma/Travellers, Nigeria, Cameroon and China.

Further information can be obtained at info@sari.ie.

A number of pre-season friendlies have been approved by the league including matches for Galway United against champions Cork City and an away fixture against the Manchester United breakaway club FC United.

Friendly list: Dundalk v Shelbourne, Oriel Park, Thurs January 26, 7.30pm; Galway Utd. v Shelbourne, Terryland Park, Fri Feb 3, 7.30pm; Dundalk v St Patrick’s Athletic, Oriel Park, Thurs Feb 9, 7.45pm; FC United v Galway United, Wycombe Wanderers training ground, Sun Feb 12, k.o. tbc; Galway United v Cork City, Terryland Park Tue Feb 14, 7.30pm and Dundalk v Drogheda United, Oriel Park, 7.45pm; Dundalk v Longford Town, Oriel Park, Thurs Feb 23, 7.45pm; Dundalk v Dublin City, Oriel Park, Sat Feb 25, 7.45pm; Dundalk v Bohemians, Oriel Park, Thurs March 2, 7.45pm; Galway United v Longford Town, Terryland Park, Sat Mar 4, 3pm.

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