Colleges thinking big as countdown begins to Collingwood Cup 2016

The Irish Universities Football Union (IUFU) and the Colleges Football Association of Ireland (CFAI) will create a joint third level national team to help raise the profile and standard of college soccer in Ireland.

Colleges thinking big as countdown begins to Collingwood Cup 2016

The long term aim of the project will be to introduce an international competition where Ireland’s new representative side can test themselves on the international stage, according to FAI National co-ordinator Mark Scanlon.

“It came down to the prospect of getting better players, playing at a higher standard and raising the profile of it to get better fixtures as well,” said Scanlon. For the World University Games, where any college player in Ireland is eligible, it makes selection easier.

Scanlon revealed that the long term aim of the project may involve an international tournament similar to the secondary schools’ Centenary Shield.

Scanlon also revealed the CFAI hope to live stream the CUFL Premier final in 2016. The semi-finals, which see UL take on Colaiste Stiofan Naofa and IT Carlow face NUI Maynooth, will take place on the week of February 1.

Scanlon was speaking at the draw for the 2016 Collingwood Cup, with holders UCC hoping to retain their title on home soil in February. Eleven teams will battle it out in Cork for the honour of lifting the cup. UCC, NUIG, UL, DCU, Trinity, Mary Immaculate College and Ulster University were among the seeded teams for the draw while NUI Maynooth, Royal College of Surgeons and Queen’s University Belfast were unseeded.

The tournament will kick off on Tuesday, February 23 at UCC.

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