FAI cup winners, Cork City FC, announced on Monday the 21st of November, a three-year sponsorship deal with UCC and The Maradyke Arena. The deal focuses around Cork City’s use of the Maradyke’s facilities, rehabilitation unit and training pitches, and it also includes player support and University scholarships for Cork City players, in order to train them for a career after football.
A ceremony was held in the Student Centre, hosted by broadcaster John Creedon, to announce the deal. UCC president Dr.Michael Murphy said the deal “reinforces our shared belief that sport and education together are a winning combination for success”. UCC will be displayed on both the front and the back of the new Cork City Jerseys, the away version of which was also unveiled. Cork City chairman, Pat Lyons, also spoke at the event, saying “Together with UCC, we are building further on our player development, availing of the extensive research network, data analytics and creating pathways for juniors, senior and retiring players in education for their sporting and personal development as well as their future careers”.
The deal is an exciting development for both UCC and Cork City FC, and will give a lift to the Cork community, as two of the big Cork sporting strongholds combine. Cork City finished second in the Airtricity League for the third year in a row, finishing behind Dundalk each year. This deal is seen by the league as another statement of intent, and with Dundalk also securing the lease of their home ground, Oriel Park, it seems that the 2017 season will be one of the most hotly contest in recent years. “As a center for sporting excellence” Diarmuid Collins, Chairman of the Maradyke Arena, said “we too share the same passion and commitment as the winning Cork team, and we look forward to working with players, coaches and managements for the coming seasons.”