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Today, he's working as an accountant. Tonight, he'll be playing in an FAI Cup quarter-final

Jake Corrigan is set to line out for Maynooth University Town in their game against Bohemians this evening.

Maynooth University Town's Jake Corrigan (file pic).
Maynooth University Town's Jake Corrigan (file pic).
Image: Bryan Keane/INPHO

THIS EVENING, Jake Corrigan is set to feature in what he acknowledges is “one of the biggest games I’ll ever be involved in”.

The 25-year-old defender is expected to start, as Maynooth Town University travel to face Bohemians in the FAI Cup quarter-final.

With St Pat’s, Wexford Youths, UCD, Waterford, Finn Harps and Dundalk the other teams remaining in the competition, Keith Long’s side are widely perceived as one of the main contenders to lift the trophy.

Maynooth, by contrast, are the 100/1 rank outsiders to lift the trophy.

The only remaining Leinster Senior League side left in the competition, they come into this fixture off the back of a memorable 3-2 victory over First Division outfit Cobh Ramblers.

“These are the games you want to be involved in,” Corrigan tells The42.

“I definitely wouldn’t write us off. We know what Bohs are like, they beat Shamrock Rovers in the last round. We know their quality, we respect them, they’re a good side, but we’re not just going there to make up the numbers. We’re the only Leinster Senior League team left and are representing the league, so we want to give a good account of ourselves. Stranger things have happened in football and we definitely are going to give it a go.”

Corrigan believes the Leinster Senior League tends to be “underrated” by many within the game and feels their recent victory over Cobh illustrated that they are capable of competing with League of Ireland sides.

“It finished 3-2 but we did dominate for large parts of the game. We proved our quality in that game. I wouldn’t say we were so surprised to beat them but it was just a delight that we actually got there and thinking about the quarter-final and who you can get in the next round, and we got the favourites for the cup, so we couldn’t have got any bigger.”

But the 25-year-old admits that his team’s league form has been disappointing of late, with Maynooth currently 12th in a 14-team division, picking up just one win in their opening seven games.

“The following week [after the Cobh victory] we played Edenderry and got beaten 2-1.

“No motivation is needed for the big games, but in the league, we’ve been slacking a small bit. We know that cup competitions only last a couple of months, the league is our bread and butter. So we need to get back to focusing and getting points on board, but we’ll enjoy Friday [for now].”

Both sides will be missing important players for the encounter. Bohs striker Georgie Kelly, the Premier Division’s current top scorer with 14 goals, is suspended after receiving a red card in the Rovers win. The visitors, meanwhile, are without Cillian Duffy, who suffered an ACL injury during the Cobh victory.

With a squad that includes Ireland U21 international internationals Andy Lyons, Dawson Devoy and Ross Tierney, Bohs certainly have no shortage of talent within their ranks. Corrigan, however, insists his side won’t be intimidated, as they are a team accustomed to exceeding expectations.

“I would have joined the Leinster Senior League four or five seasons ago when we were down in the third division. So we got back-to-back promotions, we won the FAI Intermediate Cup in 2018 and the core of that team is still there.”

Managed by Shane Harte, they also have on board someone who has undertaken many trips to Dalymount Park in the past, former Dundalk striker Ciaran Kilduff, who is their assistant coach after calling a halt to his League of Ireland career at the end of last season following a two-year stint with Shelbourne.

Kilduff has since played a couple of games for Maynooth, but Corrigan says the 32-year-old will be watching from the sidelines on Friday.

Their number two is far from the only person involved in the team with past League of Ireland connections — several other players in the squad were on the books of a top-flight or First Division side earlier in their careers, including Corrigan, who lined out at underage with both St Patrick’s Athletic and Drogheda, as well as Conor Dunne (Shamrock Rovers) and Darragh Gannon (Shelbourne).

Is there a feeling therefore that the 11 players who line out on Friday for Maynooth have a point to prove? Corrigan, who says his Drogheda departure left “a sour taste in my mouth” and is now a qualified accounting working at Grant Thornton, agrees.

“Definitely. There are a good few lads on the team that would have played League of Ireland.

“Growing up, I wanted to play in England. I played with Cherry Orchard at schoolboy level. We would have been up there with the top Dublin teams. I would have played there from 11 to 17. I went to St Pat’s then U19s, spent a year there because they had a link with Maynooth College. But I broke my foot that year and then, it just didn’t work out. 

“I spent my second year of U19s with Drogheda. Then I got signed for the first team midway through the second season of U19, but it just never worked out for me. I didn’t get a chance, I was never given an opportunity, I didn’t make one appearance and I left halfway through the season.

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“I’m a Kildare man, I live in Prosperous, so I was travelling to Drogheda three to four times a week and I never got an opportunity, so that was when I decided to go back and play for Maynooth.

“I obviously had a bad experience with Drogheda, didn’t get a chance, but with the likes of our team, there are many players there that could play in the First Division. But it’s a bit of commitment — I’m working full-time now. We’re playing Bohs on Friday. We have to get off work a bit early and try to get that sorted. I wouldn’t be able to work full-time and do that every week, so there’s that as well to consider. But I wouldn’t change anything now. I think I’m happy where I am. I have my education. It was important to me, wherever I did go in football, to at least have something to fall back on.”

Upcoming fixtures:

Friday

FAI Cup

Bohs v Maynooth (7.45pm)
St Pat’s v Wexford (7.45pm)
UCD v Waterford (7.45pm)
Finn Harps v Dundalk (8pm)

Saturday

Sligo v Shamrock Rovers (7.45pm)

Monday

Bohs v Derry (7.45pm)

- Originally published at 6:15am

About the author:

Paul Fennessy

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