Defender Mick Leahy has left UCD AFC in a move across the country to Limerick FC. The first official departure of the window for the Students, ambulance the centre-back has been with UCD for 5 seasons after a youth career spent at Home Farm and Belvedere.
The Dubliner is a prime example of UCD’s facilitation of study and sport and has completed an undergraduate degree and two masters during his tenure at the university.
His maiden season in the first team was marked with a Division 1 title and promotion to the Premier Division and he went on to captain the Students in his final three years – a period during which the side maintained their top division status.
He joins a team closer to home than one may immediately notice with the centre-back having the advantage of a familial connection to the city that is likely to make the settling in process that bit easier.
In remarks made during his unveiling at the club Leahy noted “I’m not a kid anymore. I’m 24 and it is probably time over the next couple of years to push on and make a real big impact in the league.”
It’s evident that he is a player that expects a lot from himself and his choice to join Limerick rather than wait out the window in the hope that one of the bigger teams in the league might make an offer is an indication that this is a player that wants to play rather than make up squad numbers.
He leaves as one of the most seasoned players in the squad and will undoubtedly be missed – but his loss represents an opportunity for another player to take the path the centre-back has and make the step up to Airtricity League football.
UCD is not a buying club but they are certainly successful in their development of young players with Leahy, among many others in recent seasons, showcasing that success.
For those of us still roaming the concrete and grass of Belfield – and offering our support from the stands of the UCD Bowl – let’s hope the trend continues and we see another successful season for UCD AFC in 2014.
The College Tribune wishes Mick a successful season with Limerick but will, of course, be wishing the opposite when he comes up against his former colleagues next season.