Students past and present of the University of Ulster Coleraine are making a strong defence in a bid to safeguard the future of football at the campus.
The UUC have had a long and proud history on the football field, the highlight of which is taking part in the prestigious Collingwood Cup competition aginst universities thoughout Ireland.
However, if University of Ulster officials get their way that will all come to an acrimonious end.
Traditionally Ulster University would enter three separate sides with Coleraine, Magee and Jordanstown campus’ all represented by individual teams, but this year, university officials are insisting that one joint team is entered into the tournament, which starts in two months time.
Their rationale behind the decision is stated as ‘maximising opportunities for success’ and ‘equality of opportunity for students across the campuses’.
However, Michael Willis, who has a long standing association with the UUC football team both as a player and a coach, told Times Sport it will reduce the opportunity for players.
“This decision is against the spirit of football,” said Michael.
“The university talks about equality of opportunity. The implementation of this policy will not promote equality it will actually promote discrimination as normally there are 69 players between the three teams and that will be reduced to just 23.
“We are determined to fight this decision and back the UUC team all the way.
“We are calling on the public to show their support and back them also.
“The UUC has a proud footballing tradition but this decision threatens all that.”
If you would like to sign the petiton log on to http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/UUColeraineSoccerPetition