|

In Defence of UCD

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 A lot of fans claim they can’t see
The benefits of UCD.
They do not have financial clout,
So many people want them out,
Tolerated with forbearance,
Their major fan-base is their parents.
Their pitch, well hidden on the campus,
Is overlooked by sweeping pampas,
And few, if any, can extol
The virtues of that grassy knoll,
And though their volunteers are eager,
Facilities are somewhat meagre.
For too long they’ve been tolerated,
Why can’t they be relegated?

2 Leave a comment on verse 2 0 But I’m inclined to disagree
With this contempt for UCD,
For though I cannot but avow
Their stadium’s not the Bernebeu,
And though their fan-base is quite small,
Size and money isn’t all.
For what their college football offers
Is not designed to swell the coffers.
Throughout the years, their better players
All decamped to better payers.
It’s hard for them to be consistent,
When player-poaching is persistent.
It must be somewhat irritating
To see the Chequebook Charlies waiting.
The management must be well versed
In watching players that they’ve nursed,
And taught and groomed, refined and coached,
Be financially approached.

3 Leave a comment on verse 3 0 And yet, despite the constant flux,
The students still stick to their books.
Mister Dolan might well talk
About the bias shown ‘gainst Cork,
But he would have a coronary
If he took over UCD.
Their goal has always been to play
Their football in the proper way.
Begun in eighteen ninety five,
They’ve had a fight to stay alive,
But down the years, their star has shone,
While other, bigger clubs are gone.
Other teams might face attrition
In European competition,
But they’ve played four, been beaten once,
[A record good as anyone’s]
First western team to play in China
While others toured in Carolina,
Moran, Dunning, Tilson, Keely,
Peter Lorimer [yes, really!]
Dignam, Gaffney, Alan O’Neill
Played the campus game with zeal,
O’Doherty and Hanrahan,
Each of them a college man,
McCarthy, Keddy, Palmer too
Have proudly worn the college blue,
And many of the current side
Will wear another’s shirt with pride
And prosper in their glory quest
When they have flown the College nest.

4 Leave a comment on verse 4 0 So, in a world of grasp and greed,
I hope that UCD succeed,
And escape the dreaded drop despite
Their current very parlous plight.
May their players be distinguished
And their light not be extinguished.
The odds against them may be stacked,
Where money and support impact,
But there is something noble in
The underdog’s desire to win.

17

Notes

University College Dublin, I think, are the only university side playing football in the top flight of their country’s premier league.
Despite all the odds, they have regained this status for the past eight years, though currently they are adrift at the bottom.

Source: http://footballpoets.org/poems/in-defence-of-ucd/