June 2015 | Meitheamh 2015

Come On Ye Docs in Green!

Sat, 27 June 15 21:09

For the first time in the competition’s history, a group of Irish medics are taking part in the 2015 World Medical Football Championships at Long Beach, California.  The World Cup-styled competition sees over 600 physicians from around the world gather for a week of soccer and medical education.  Coincident with the sporting competition will be a Global Congress on Medicine and Health in Sport.

The Irish team comprises a number of UCD Medicine graduates, clinicians from across our clinical training network as well as two fathers of our students.  The spine of the Irish team is formed from the legendary St Vincent’s Hospital Football club.  The Southside galácticos have dominated the Dublin Hospitals Cup in recent years and play in the Leinster Senior Football League having been founded by UCD Medicine’s Dr John Seery, consultant physician at St Vincent’s University Hospital.

News of the competition was brought to us by one of our alumni, Dr Dimitri Wall (UCD Medicine 2004), specialist registrar in dermatology whose younger brother, Nathan ‘The Brick’ Wall (UCD Medicine 2012) is team captain, centre back and GP in training.

Also among the 25 strong panel are:

Monaghan radiation oncologist and goalkeeper, Dr Ronan McDermott (UCD Medicine 2009) who has variously been likened to Italian shotstopper, Gianluigi ‘Gigi’ Buffon.

Defender and General Practitioner trainee, Dr Tommy Fitzgerald (UCD Medicine 2009) from the St Vincent’s Football Club is a veteran of three UCD Med Cup victories. He can do things that Paul McGrath can only dream about!

Derry brothers Dr David (UCD Medicine 2000, Medical Oncology) and Dr Colm Cosgrove (UCD Medicine 2008, haematology) add some uncompromising steel in defence.  Another Derry-born player in the James McClean mould is Dr Ronan Cassidy (UCD Medicine 2008) who, when he isn’t going from box to box like a whirling dervish, is a GP in Newtoncunningham, Co. Donegal.

Two doctors with dermatology experience may be called into professional action in the California sunshine.  Tallaght GP, Dr Ronan Murray (UCD Medicine 2002, GDip Dermatology 2012) is another veteran of the St Vincent’s Football Club. He brings plenty of experience, if not blistering pace.  While Aussie, Dr Steve Karagiannis, a GP in Dublin’s North Strand and a Skin Cancer Screening specialist, plays in the defence.

Dr Aidan McGrath (UCD Medicine 2012), multiple Dublin Hospitals Cup winner and a leading St Vincent’s goalscorer. Cork geriatrician and central defender, Dr Denis Curtin (UCD Medicine 2008) is known as the ‘Iron Curtin’.  Fellow Munster man, Dr Coilin Collins Smith, a UCD Medicine intern in 2012, works in anaesthesia and intensive care medicine at St Vincent’s University Hospital.

With his cultured left foot, Dublin GP Dr Andre Delany (UCD Medicine 2009) has been compared to Republic of Ireland legend Steve Staunton though we suspect it is more for his equal need for factor 100 suncream. Paediatric specialist registrar, Dr Dean Huggard (UCD Medicine 2010) has a previous international win under his belt having been involved in the 2007 NAMS tournament, a competition among UK and Ireland Medical Schools.  

Utility player, Dr John Frizelle (UCD Medicine 2012) is a GP in training and has the distinction of twice winning the Dublin Hospitals Cup with two different hospitals.  Blackrock’s Dr Mark Quinlan (UCD Medicine 2003, MD 2009) is a urology specialist registrar at St James’s Hospital.  He is hoping to capture the eye of Liverpool manager Brendan Rogers with a view to dislodging Joe Allen from the Red’s midfield.

Dr Peter Kelly reminds us of Argentine and Boca Juniors star Martin ‘Loco’ Palermo who famously missed three penalties for his national side.  Dr Kelly has twice tasted defeat losing consecutive UCD Med Cups on penalties in the final.  We hope that his luck will change in the Californian sunshine and that he emulates ‘St Palermo’ who subsequently helped Argentina qualify for the 2010 World Cup.

Former TCD Dean of Medicine and gastroenterologist, Prof Sir Dermot DP Kelleher leads the Medics’ forward line like a latter day Salvatore ‘Toto’ Schillaci.  Although he is known to some as the incoming Dean of Medicine at University of British Columbia, a position he takes up in September having previously been Vice-President for Health and Dean of Medicine at Imperial College London, we prefer to think of him as father of UCD Medicine Stage 5 student, Sean Kelleher.

Consultant Histopathologist at St Vincent’s University Hospital and UCD Clinical Professor Dr Kieran Sheahan (UCD Medicine 1981) is like our own Tony Cascarino, never quite getting the caps that his undoubted talent deserves.   The Killarney native brings a poacher’s instinct to the team alongside big match experience following a distinguished career across numerous codes including football, rugby and soccer. 

Waterford GP, Dr Liam Holland (UCC 1987) brings experience to the team and can be relied on to bolster the midfield as required.  He has been likened to a Munster Andrés Iniesta with his calm and neat change of direction.

Radiologist, Dr Joe Coyle (UCD Medicine 2000) comes into the game following extensive pre-tournament training in Canada.  The Monaghan man will likely be used as a utility player exploiting his gaelic football experience with the Farney men.  Another from the UCD Medicine Class of 2000 is Sligo man, Dr Kerry O’Connell.  The Collins Avenue GP has extensive experience in paediatrics having worked at Temple Street Children’s hospital for three years. 

From the wee county, consultant general surgeon, Dr John Larkin (UCD Medicine 2000) can be relied upon to provide clinical precision passing out of defence.  With a PhD in cancer research, Larkin has a lot of international experience albeit in clinical rather than football matters.

Former GEM student and outgoing intern, Dr Kevin Sheahan (UCD Business & Legal 2009, UCD Medicine 2014) is expected to inject pace in to the Irish Medics side urged on by father and team mate Kieran.  Another former GEM student and current Emory University Hospital resident, Dr Barra Neary (UCD Law 2008, UCD Medicine 2014) has been drafted to provide some left-side balance to a decidedly rightsided squad.

Team Manager Dr John Cosgrove will be ably assisted by PhD student Diarmaid Fitzgerald, UCD Clinical Tutor, who better known as first team physio for both the UCD Soccer Club and the UCD Hurling Club.

We wish the boys well on their World Cup adventure and expect that they’ll forge strong links with international colleagues.

(UCD Medicine concedes that we may have embellished these pen profiles with some quite farfetched comparisons. Any resemblence to actual footballing greats is purely coincidental.)