A new strategic partnership involving Dublin City University and Shelbourne FC has been launched at Tolka Park.
The partnership aims to develop a broad range of initiatives which will enhance sporting excellence within both organisations:
● Player development at Shelbourne FC through access to DCU coaching, specialist facilities etc.
● Player development at DCU through pathways onto Shelbourne FC teams
● Scholarships for gifted soccer players wishing to develop their sporting talents whilst accessing a first-class education
● Joint community engagement initiatives in the region
● The Harding Cup (a major tournament for first year University students) is hosted by DCU this year and the final will take place in Tolka Park.
The new plan will also see DCU featured as the main sponsor on the Shelbourne club’s shirts. In addition, DCU advertising will be displayed around the ground at Tolka Park. The partnership is expected to evolve and expand over the coming years.
Speaking about the sponsorship DCU President Professor Brian MacCraith said,
‘DCU has always placed a strong emphasis on sport and this new partnership allows us to bring soccer to a new level in the University. We are proud to be involved with a club with such a distinguished history as Shelbourne FC and we share their ambitions for future success. We also believe that this project will significantly strengthen the scope of our engagement with the North Dublin community through our commitment to excellence in soccer.’
Shelbourne FC brings a wealth of tradition to the venture. Founded in 1895, the club has won 13 National League titles, 7 FAI cups and its past heroes include, amongst others, recently retired Irish international Wesley Hoolahan. Shelbourne FC also has a thriving Academy for both boys and girls and one of the country’s leading Women’s National League sides. In 2017, the club launched its ‘Shels in the Community’ initiative.
This move will see DCU realise its ambition to position itself as a university recognised for its excellence in soccer, alongside existing strengths in GAA and Athletics.
Shelbourne FC Chairman, Joe Casey, said,
“DCU’s sponsorship and the potential for a wider partnership is a significant development for Shelbourne FC. I very much welcome their recognition of the part that the club can play in helping DCU to achieve its community and sporting excellence objectives, which align well with our strategic plans.”