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FOOTBALL: SUPER CUP START FOR TOP FOUR.

THE new domestic football season kicks off in earnest this weekend as the top four last term do battle for the Super Cup.

Devised primarily to provide the eircom League's European participants with some much-needed matches before their UEFA Cup and Champions League forays, unfortunately this competition will be of little benefit to UCD, who are already out of the Intertoto Cup.

The Students, however, put up a great fight against Bulgarian outfit FC Velhzbad and drew both games only to go out on the away goals rule.

And with more training sessions under their belt than the other sides involved, College must be among the favourites to take away the pounds 8,000 prize money on offer for the winners.

But - understandably - manager Martin Moran isn't too pleased with the timing of the competition.

"The Super Cup is the most unhelpful 'boost' I've ever received," he says.

"The Intertoto Cup first leg was our first game in eight weeks, before that we couldn't get a friendly for love or money.

"If this competition was designed to give us a boost, it's had the exact opposite effect. Back to the drawing board, lads."

They take on Shelbourne, the formidable double winners of last season, on home soil tonight (Belfield Park, 7.30).

In tonight's other semi-final, Colin Murphy manages Cork City for the first time in a competitive game when the Leesiders play Bohs at Turner's Cross (7.30).

Since he took over, Gareth Cronin has moved to Dublin and has joined Shamrock Rovers, while Dave Hill and Gerald Dobbs have been released.

Murphy has also tied down Ollie Cahill, Greg O'Halloran and Derek Coughlan on pro contracts.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Author:Scully, Michael
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jun 30, 2000
Words:278
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