FORMER UCC defender Rob Slevin is one of Neale Fenn’s new signings and he is hopeful that this young side have what it takes to compete at this level.
The 21-year-old enjoyed a brief spell at Waterford United where he joined them towards the second half of last season in which he believes has given him a foundation of what it’s like to play in this league.
“Playing in Waterford was a great experience for me,” said Slevin. I played 15 games from when I joined them in June and that will only help me going into the new season.”
The third year UCC commerce student started out playing football with local side Carrigaline where he played all through the ranks up to senior level before transferring to UCC. He believes his time with Carrigaline definitely gave him the proper foundation to excel at the game and his development over the years helped him be the player he is today.
In the past two years, Slevin proved himself as a key player for MSL champions UCC, captaining his side to major trophies while picking up individual awards along the way such as Player of the tournament in both the Collingwood and the Inter Pros while also being nominated for the FAI Intermediate Payer of the year.
“Having been approached by Neale I always knew that I wanted to sign here and I’m delighted to get it done.
“In general I think I always wanted to play League of Ireland and when Waterford gave me the opportunity I was delighted to get on board and now playing with City will be another challenge and something I’m looking forward to, especially with such a young and hungry side.
It’s obviously an honour to play with your home town that you grew up watching so I’m buzzing to sign here.
“So far pre season has been great. There’s a good young squad here and everyone seems hungry to impress and set high standards. Being a young squad I would’ve known a lot of the lads from playing locally a few years ago so there’s definitely a good atmosphere around the group.”
So what does Slevin expect from this young side over the season?
“A young squad will bring lots of energy and positivity and so I’m very excited to see how we perform.
“To be fair with the youth we still have a lot of experience within the squad. A lot of the players have played around the league for a good few years and so the blend should compliment the squad.
“For me it’s great to be working under Joe (Gamble) again. I worked with Joe in Waterford and his conditioning sessions are second to none.
“We are obviously working hard on the pitch and in the gym to ensure we’re ready come the start of the season and I have no doubt we will all be in great shape and raring to go.”
It’s a busy year for the Carrigaline native, who is currently in his third year of studies at UCC. Balancing both study and playing won’t be a problem for Slevin considering last season while captaining UCC, he managed to play 65 games and still kept out his studies to a high level.
“I will manage the balance between study and playing so that won’t be a problem. I’m just really looking forward to starting the season. It would be great to get off to a good start.
“Every game will be tough no doubt, but we will just take one game at a time. It’s a long season but a good start sets you up nicely for sure, so let’s hope that can happen.
“The games come thick and fast so starting well would be very beneficial.
“My aim for the season is hopefully to keep pushing on from last year. Getting as many games as I did last year was hugely beneficial for me and now hopefully I can push on again even further.”