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Ireland U-21 star Colm Whelan remaining on board with UCD

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Colm Whelan

Colm Whelan

Colm Whelan

He’s the most sought-after young talent in the League of Ireland, but Ireland U-21 cap Colm Whelan has confirmed that he will shun offers to leave UCD and remain with the Students for the start of next year to finish his degree.

The Kilkenny lad had some second half to the 2021 season, as he scored on his debut for the Ireland U-21s, helped UCD defeat his former club Waterford to earn promotion for next term and finished the year with prizes selected by his peers in the PFAI and the SSE Airtricity Soccer Writers, Whelan named as November’s player of the month by that body.

His form in front of goal, 25 goals in all competitions, made it seem inevitable that he would be snapped up by a bigger club here, but he has stated that he will be at UCD at least until his degree is complete, which would allow him start the 2022 season in the Students’ shirt. Whelan is taking a degree in City Planning and Environmental Policy and is busy completing pre-Christmas assignments.  

“That would be the plan. I’ve a degree to finish in UCD, so my plan is to finish that before I look anywhere,” he says, admitting that the speculation about his future was flattering with Shamrock Rovers and Shelbourne strongly linked with the Thomastown native.

“I just take it with a pinch of salt really. I’ll stay playing and working hard because that’s all I’m there to do. We’ve got promoted for a reason, so we deserve to be there and we deserve to give it a shot,” he insists.

Meanwhile, Derry City continue to spoil their supporters with a string of high-profile signings. Having already raided Oriel Park to sign Dundalk trio Patrick McEleney, Michael Duffy and Will Patching, City swooped again to land the signature of Dundalk defender Cameron Dummigan.

And attacking prospect Brandon Kavanagh, who was on loan to First Division Bray Wanderers from Shamrock Rovers last season, has also completed a move to Derry, who had already signed Bray keeper Brian Maher.

“Brandon is a player I’ve admired since he burst onto the scene at Shamrock Rovers a few years ago,” says City boss Ruaidhrí Higgins. “He is a very gifted footballer with huge potential. At only 21 years of age, it will be exciting to see how he develops in the coming years at Derry City.

“I’m delighted to welcome a player of Cameron’s quality and versatility to the club. It is very rare that a player is equally effective in a number of positions, but that’s certainly what he brings us.”​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

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