Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Paul Corry Makes "Dream Move" Abroad a Reality as he Departs UCD
There was never a chance UCD could keep a talent like Paul Corry forever. A deep-lying hugely cherished midfielder, the 21-year-old had plied his trade at UCD for three years refusing the urge of Owen Coyle's Burnley to pursue his education and a college degree. Now, three years on from initially turning his back on a "dream move" to England, Corry has once again been the subject of intense transfer speculation. Only this time it was Sheffield Wednesday and this time he accepted.
During August, as rumours continued to swirl over where his future lay, a tremendous amount of attention was paid to his Twitter account. Cue the onslaught of questions, all tied, inevitably, to the same topic: where he was heading. He was coy and smart in his responses, citing he had to "see what happens" - obviously a shrewd tactic; neither revealing nor concealing any information he may have known - and the fact that he never shied away the interest surely told the UCD fans he was on his way. They were forced to accept the inevitable as a fully-fit Corry didn't partake in Derry City knocking out UCD at home in the 3rd round of the FAI Ford Cup. The writing was clearly on the wall and it was only a matter of time until the Owls had their man.
Unfortunately for the Students, Corry's future had been clouded by uncertainty for the better part of a year. After the 2011 League of Ireland season, as clubs stepped up their pursuit of him, few expected the former Belvedere schoolboy to remain with one of the League's weaker sides. He admitted that he had spoken to various managers, just before the new year as teams were beginning their pre-season training, but an overwhelming sense of pride - and a determination to see out his college degree - saw him stay, signing on for another year at UCD. Martin Russell, UCD manager, had sought "continuity" from the season before and securing the services of one of his star players for another year guaranteed just that. Corry, only twenty-one, knew that at UCD he'd be getting first team football and that was one of many factors that led to his staying at the College.
With Corry having departed its become apparent - in fact, it already was - that UCD predominantly serves as a stepping stone to many players who go on to achieve greater things. Players such as Greg Bolger, Ronan Finn and Evan MacMillan all went on to taste the highs - and lows - of European football, while Conor Sammon had achieved a long-standing dream of his as he signed for Premier League strugglers Wigan. Corry may be next in line to taste success away from the Bowl as the jump to Wednesday represents a chance to really see if he's worth his weight in salt. In these instances, players not deemed good enough can fall behind, become lax, disillusioned and leave the game early, feeling unfulfilled. Nobody wants it happen but sometimes the game just can't help itself, taking hostage an unsettled player abroad and suffocating his confidence until it becomes just a scrap of what it used to be.
In Corry, whose style of play resembles Michael Carrick of Manchester United or Sergio Busquets of the all-conquering Barcelona - players who let others hog the limelight as they go about their business in a quiet manner - Wednesday have acquired a jack-of-all-trades. He can tackle, distribute safe passes - sometimes key - make lung-bursting runs through midfield and, perhaps most importantly, has a keen eye for goal. He's become renowned at UCD for his ability to shoot from long-range, with that trusty left foot of his a particular crowd-pleaser. He would regularly partner Paul O'Connor in midfield, and while O'Connor would make forward runs Corry would stay back and make sure to nullify any potential quick breaks the opposition may attempt. (Too add to this, Corry recently became the only League of Ireland player to receive a call-up to the Irish under-21 side, against Turkey, further adding to his revered status.)
While UCD manager Martin Russel was fairly strict with instructions for Corry - primarily 'clean-up duty' - hopefully we'll get to see more of the adventurous Corry under Dave Jones. When he has been allowed to roam he is more than capable of unleashing curling, dipping strikes from long-range, with many finding the net in spectacular fashion - see his goals vs Stevenage and Shelbourne for example, both in the weeks leading up to his move - so Wednesday fans have something to look forward to.
If ever there was a time to make the switch it's now as the course Corry is studying is nearing its completion date and so, this time he'll be ready to focus solely on his football. Failing that, he'll still have a degree to fall back on if things go pear-shaped so all-in-all there's nothing to lose for Corry as he swaps the college turf of University College of Dublin for Sheffield's Hillsborough Stadium. One can only hope it'll be a transition worth making.
Note: I have written previously on Paul Corry, over for the folks at In Bed with Maradona, so if you're fishing for more information on Sheffield Wednesday's new signing I'd implore you read that too.