Tournament row ongoing

The Collingwood Cup.
The Collingwood Cup.

Officials of the Univerity of Ulster Coleraine football team have reacted to a statement from the University in relation to this year’s Collingwood Cup exclusion.

As we reported several weeks ago students present and past who have played for the UUC are angered by the University’s decision to axe the UUC from entering the prestigious tournament this year.

In a statement released to Times Sport the University said the decision was ‘in line with all other universities across the island of Ireland and has led to success for Ulster University’. However, Tom Stark and Michael Willis, who have a long-standing association with the club, refute those claims.

“The UU statement states that their policy of a ‘single cross campus team’ is in line with ALL other universities’ north and south, however this claim quite simply is totally untrue,” said Michael.

“The National University of Ireland which includes University College Dublin, University College Cork, National University of Ireland Galway, National University of Ireland Maynooth and includes the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland as a college does not insist on a single cross campus team hence UCD, UCC, NUIG, NUIM and RCSI which are all part of the National University of Ireland take part separately in the Collingwood Cup and other intervarsity tournaments.

“Stranmillis and St Mary’s, who are part of Queens University Belfast, are eligible to enter the Collingwood and have played in the past. Indeed St Marys are past winners of the Collingwood Cup.

“Regarding their comment on the success of the UU team in the recent hockey intervarsities.

“All the players selected for the combined UU team were from UUJ - the so called Elks. We no longer have hockey facilities at UUC, but a few players who still attend the university told Tom Stark that no one approached them to take part - so this is hardly an advert for the cross campus policy.

“Over the years UU campus teams have reached the finals of (and won) senior intervarsities in several sports. In 2006 UUC and UUJ played each other in the Collingwood final- what better advert for UU.

“It is an insult to tell the campus soccer teams that they can only enter the minor varsity tournaments.

“There is no such body as a cross campus UU soccer team - it plays in no leagues, has no committeee structure or coaching staff and is not registered with the IFA – it does not exist.

“How can it play in the Collingwood when it doesn’t exist and wasn’t in the Collingwood draw!”

Club officials are also angered at claims ‘an extensive and inclusive consultation process’ took place see Page 38.