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Dublin: 12 °C Friday 22 February, 2019
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Corry reaping the benefits of UCD's scholarship scheme on and off the pitch

The midfielder has impressed since making the move from the Airtricity League to Championship side Sheffield Wednesday in August.

Corry making his league debut against Leeds.
Corry making his league debut against Leeds.
Image: Tony Marshall/EMPICS Sport

PAUL CORRY IS a young man who seems to have all the bases covered.

The Dubliner has been finding his feet at Championship club Sheffield Wednesday since making the switch from the Airtricity League back in August, where he spent three years with UCD after making the step up from schoolboy side Belvedere.

Owls manager Dave Jones handed the midfielder his league debut in October’s clash with Leeds United, which will be remembered for an incident involving a fan and goalkeeper Chris Kirkland, and he has since started five times.

While the 21-year-old’s future in football is looking bright, Corry does have a career to fall back on if it all goes belly up thanks to UCD’s scholarship scheme. Along with playing in Ireland’s top tier for the Students, he completed a three-year degree in business and deferred an apprenticeship with KPMG for the time being.

In a time when players in this country face financial insecurity from one season to the next and are being forced to sign onto the dole for four months of the year, it makes a nice change to hear about a footballer with a long-term plan in place.

Speaking on 98fm’s Now That’s What I Call Sport!, Corry said: ”I could’ve gone to Burnley just after I finished my Leaving Cert when I was 18 but I didn’t think I was mature enough at the time and I didn’t think I’d settle in.

“So I took up a scholarship at UCD and did a three-year business degree while playing my football there.

When it was completed, I initially signed a three-year apprenticeship with KPMG. They have been very good to me and allowed me to defer it indefinitely, I guess until I return from England. They’ve said to go with football and give it a bash.”

UCD often receive criticism from certain quarters for their lack of a significant fan base while MNS panellist Dave Barry suggested earlier this year that there is less pressure on their players, who he said don’t have to deal with the pressure their peers at other clubs do.

Facing Shamrock Rovers last season. Credit: INPHO/Cathal Noonan

Despite that, the conveyor belt out in Belfield has produced the likes of Derby County’s Conor Sammon and Brighton midfielder Gary Dicker as well as a raft of current Airtricity League players including Ronan Finn, Evan McMillan and Darren Quigley in recent years.

And Corry is full of praise for the hard work being done behind the scenes at the university.

“I can’t speak highly enough about everyone in UCD in terms of the education and the footballing side of things.

Martin (Russell), Diarmuid McNally, Collie O’Neill and Aaron Callaghan were there when I was there and they were excellent. You were always able to express yourself out on the pitch and that was important for me as that’s really what my game is about – passing and moving.

“I got a great football education there, I learned a lot from Martin and the players around me like Greg Bolger. It was an excellent place to be with people your own age and that freedom to go out and play football.”

Listen to the full 98FM interview here

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About the author:

Ben Blake

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