Fitzpatrick Cup 2020 – UCC Bombers Preview

Ahead of this years Fitzpatrick Cup, which will be held in Oxford this Saturday 8th February, we caught up with UCC Bombers coach Ian O’Sullivan to get his thoughts on the upcoming tournament and how his side expect to fare.

Alongside Ian is Paul Junior Ryan. Both coaches have brought some fresh  ideas and injected even more enthusiasm to the club. Ian has and is still playing the game since 2002 with the Leeside Lions. He has represented Ireland in World Cup tournaments in 2005 and 2008.Paul has been around as long and has managed Ireland teams in the past to success. Both have worked well together and feel they have the players to enhance this great club even further.

Ian explained that the Bombers have had a busy season to date and added a wealth of experience to their ranks ahead of this weekend’s competition.
“The UCC Bombers have had a great season to date. We have new coaches and lots of new players joining the club so there’s a been a bit of transition and getting to know each other before Christmas. With new coaches and lots new players it’s created a very healthy competitive atmosphere. 
Participation numbers have gone through the roof. 48 guys put their hand up to travel to the Fitz so we’ve selected 32 from that.”

With numbers at training swelling in recent months, competition for places has been fierce but the Bombers coach feels that this has helped the coches with selection and enabled their players to bed into new positions. ‘We could have even had a third team travelling. We’ve used the competitions before Christmas to blood players as much as possible to allow players to explore and find their best and favoured positions as well as allowing coaches to find our best.”

So what are the expectations this coming weekend for the UCC Bombers side? For Ian it’s pretty straightforward –
“To win! Simple as. We have two great teams travelling and we would be very disappointed to not come back with the Cup. Our intent all season has been to peak at the Fitz. And we’re right where we want to be! 
We’ve only just named our split teams so we’ve got a busy week ahead of us in final prep. We’ve two strong teams travelling and are really looking forward to the competition.”

A winning mentality from both coaches clearly filters down through the Bombers club as a whole as Ian explains the key strengths of his group of footballers. “
These guys have a massive desire to perform and hunger to succeed. The improvement in skills and game knowledge etc from early September has been very impressive. They are physical and will give everything on the day to help their team and club succeed.”

Finally the Leeside Lions club man gives a quick overview on players to look out for at this years Fitz Cup. A tough task no doubt given the wealth of talent at his disposal.
“We’ve had a fantastic influx of new players this year with some guys taking to the game and skills quicker than expected. Keep your eye on Kieran O’Reilly up front who’s kick is better than some guys playing the game for years. In defence we have Liam Dineen who will harass and forward, run all day and score from deep. Conchubhair ‘Fingers’ O’Beaslaoi is another tank in defence and will give any forward to dares take him on a torrid time !And in the mids, James ‘Goose’ Daly is a natural vocal leader (co-captain) that will die for the cause.”

This years tournament is sure to be an exciting one and the UCC Bombers will be aiming to take the cup back to Leeside once again. We wish Ian, Paul and all at the Bombers the very best of luck in Oxford this weekend.

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