A FORMER Derry City player will, no doubt, be helping plan the downfall of his former club in U.C.D.’s Belfield Bowl this evening. (Kick-off: 7.45 p.m.)
ARTHUR DUFFY reports
And Cillian Morrison, who scored the game’s only goal on his competitive debut for the Dublin students against Drogheda at Hunky Dorys Park last week, will be hoping to build on that result.
Morrison, from Letterkenny, played in Derry’s Under-18 and Under-20 teams, repesenting the club in the annual Foyle Cup competition.
Now domiciled at the Dublin southside college studying engineering, the teenager remains committed to securing a full-time career in football and believes consistent performances in the Premier Division would help him realise his dream.
“That was my starting debut in Drogheda last Friday night and I was absolutely delighted to score,” declared the Letterkenny lad.
“To be honest, I wasn’t really sure I’d be starting against Drogheda, but to not only start the game but also to score the only goal was a great bonus,” he added.
“While I was delighted to score I felt I could have done more. I felt I wasn’t as sharp as I wanted to be but to get off to a winning start was great.”
Having made a few cameo appearances for Derry in the League Cup campaign, the striker opted to return to education.
“I’m 19 now but I played with Derry City at under-18 and under-20 levels and I made a few League Cup appearances for the senior team. But I then decided that I wanted to go to college. I heard about UCD’s scholarship scheme and for me it was the best place to go.
“I couldn’t ask for better as I’m now able to combine my studies with playing football in the Premier Division.”
Having decided to leave Derry, Cillian had a chat with Brandywell boss, Stephen Kenny, before finally making up his mind.
“I met up with him and he told me he expected big things from me. But he understood my position in relation to continuing my studies.
“It’s funny, because the last thing he said to me before I left was that ‘I don’t want you scoring against Derry City’ and we’re playing them this Friday night,” laughed Morrison.
“It’s about the only time I’ll ever cross him, but I’ll definitely be very happy to score against my former club.
“At the same time, if we can get the three points, and I don’t score, it won’t matter but yes, it would be nice to score.”
Continuing to harbour hopes of a full-time career in the game despite his education, Cillian was in no doubt.
“The ultimate goal is to be a footballer. The thing about attending UCD is that I can play at the top level in Ireland and also continue my studies at the same time.
“If I do get an injury, I will always have something to fall back on. But the ambition is to be player both in the Premier Division and, hopefully, further afield in England in the fullness of time,” he concluded.