Eight promising young footballers have secured third level scholarships as a result of the ongoing partnership between University College Cork (UCC) and Cork City FC.
UCC is Official Academic Partner to Cork City, a relationship that has been in place for over a decade and was renewed with a five-year deal announced in 2022.
The partnership sees City avail of UCC’s world class sporting facilities, while an equal number of scholarships are offered to players from the club’s women’s and men’s teams.
Speaking at the announcement of this year's scholarships, Laura Shine, First Year Law, said;
“This makes college more accessible, and helps me balance training and studying. There’s a communication there between the university and the club that really helps us.”
Oran Crowe, Second Year Commerce, said:
“While making your way in football you get to go to college as well, and get a degree, which is great for us.”
UCC President Prof. John O’Halloran said:
“Dozens of young athletes have benefited from this partnership over the past decade, an arrangement that stems from our commitment to provide a holistic education to our students. Some have gone on to forge careers as professional footballers, others have found a different path, but we believe all have benefitted from an education here at UCC.”
Cork City FC owner Dermot Usher said:
"It is great to see more of our players continuing with their education. We have a wonderful relationship with UCC, which continues to grow and strengthen. All of the players who have received scholarships have done so because they have combined their sporting prowess with their desire for self-development, of which education is a vitally important part. We look forward to helping and supporting them as they continue their journeys, both academic and sporting."
City’s Chief Operating Officer Éanna Buckley said:
“The partnership we have had with UCC for the last decade has given so many players great opportunities to fulfil their potential academically, whilst continuing to pursue their sporting ambitions. Given the precarious nature of a career in sport, it is a huge benefit to be able to offer these players the chance to further their studies. To be able to combine both sport and study in the way that they do is a testament to the talent and hard work of the players, as well as the partnership between the club and the University.”
The agreement also means that players yet to sign professional terms will also be available to play for UCC, depending on availability.
The recipients of this year’s scholarships are:
Oran Crowe - Commerce
Zach Dunne - Commerce
Colin Henderson - Arts
Josh Honohan - Commerce
Kelly Leahy - Commerce
Alix Mendez - Arts
Laura Shine - Law
Hannah Walsh - Children’s and General Nursing