“Do not be afraid to apply and believe in your ability to get the scholarship. There are huge benefits like access to the gym and the financial benefit is massive. It definitely opens up opportunities.”
Anton Reilly is in his third year of his Business and Technology degree course. The 20 year old is on a Sports Scholarship and quips that ‘Football is life,” as he details a list of elite soccer success he has had.
He began playing with Dundalk based club Shamrocks and he played in the Kennedy and Milk cups where he secured a number of trials in England.
“I came close to leaving school after my Junior Cert but it fell through so I ended up doing my Leaving Cert. I have always had an interest in school and I got a good Junior Cert but I thought I was leaving school then so I could have done better in my Leaving Cert.”
A midfielder, he signed for Dundalk FC when he was 15 and, “I made my way up to first team and made a couple of appearances and I trained with the first team for a couple of years.”
Last year he signed for Warrenpoint Town which is in the Premier League in Northern Ireland and he combines that commitment with his studies at DkIT.
He says it was hard at the start to get that balance right. “At the start it is tough as you try to give 100 percent in sport and in education but there will be times when one suffers and you have to compensate as best you can.”
I found it tough at the start but I am in 3rd year now and I think I have the balance quite well now.”
He says Derek Crilly, the Sports and Societies officer, is supportive, “If you say I am going to be late for training because I have to finish my study or I have to hand in an assignment.”
“It is important you are keeping up your grades and your performance, you can’t be slacking.”
He heard about the Sports Scholarships to DkIT when he was with Dundalk FC.
“I was interested and applied from there. I have something to fall back on and I would have always looked to get a degree at some stage.”
He is encouraging people to try for a scholarship saying, “Do not be afraid to apply and believe in your ability to get the scholarship. There are huge benefits like access to the gym and the financial benefit is massive. It definitely opens up opportunities.”