UCD Team after game. Photo by Eileen Richards, July 2nd, 2015

UCD Team after game. Photo by Eileen Richards, July 2nd, 2015

When we were asked to choose a sport to study, I wanted to study a sport different from what I was used to because I wanted to learn more about the Irish sport culture. Later, I decided to study what has been part of my culture and see how it’s different in Ireland. I wanted to study football because it is a universal sport and I wanted to bring something meaningful back to my community.

Working with the University College Dublin Association Football Club (UCD AFC) was a good opportunity to implement what I had learned in class into a real situation. Even though it was an observational study, watching the team practice twice a week and perform on games gave me a sense of knowing how the team works together and how they are able to cope with pressure depending on the personalities seen in practice and on the field.

This image represents a team that is unified and works hard to cope with anything that comes their way. Despite of what people posted on social media about the team, they were able to have emotional control and self-belief to prove all the doubters wrong. UCD made history by passing to the second round of the Europa League, something that they were not able to do the previous two times that they had qualified to the league. I will definitely keep following them once I return to Chicago hoping that they keep making history like they have done so far.