Hartpury U19 Women Footballers

Hartpury College’s men and women become national football champions on the same day

Hartpury College is celebrating a double football victory after its men’s and women’s teams were crowned English Colleges Football Association (ECFA) National Champions on Wednesday 8 May 2024. Both teams made the journey north worthwhile, on a day that turned out to be a ringing endorsement of the Hartpury football programme.

In an impressive display of skill and determination, Hartpury College’s Junior Women’s 1st team secured a remarkable victory against Loughborough College in the ECFA Women’s National Play Off Cup Final.

The final score of 4-2 marked their second consecutive win in this prestigious competition. Isobel Kinsella, Lexie North, and Libby Hyett-Uckun were the goal scorers, with Kinsella’s opening goal coming courtesy of a freekick that set the tone of the match. Her exceptional performance continued as she assisted in doubling the lead with a corner that found Hyett-Uckun in the box. North sealed the victory with a wonderful header, while Kinsella’s final strike into the top right corner of the net solidified their title as Play Off Champions.

Leah Burridge, Women’s Football and Futsal Manager at Hartpury University and Hartpury College said: “We’re yet to encounter a team that are technically better than us on the pitch, both collectively and individually, and I’m very fortunate to be working with such a talented and coachable group of young players.

“Having been defending champions of the trophy, it was important to us that we retained our title as National Champions. We were clinical in attack, dominated possession, and were deserved winners in the end. It’s been another hugely successful season for the women’s programme. We became Association of Colleges (AoC) National Champions after winning the 7-a-side tournament in Nottingham and topping our group in the ECFA Performance League.”

Later that day, the Hartpury College Junior Men’s 1st team also showcased their prowess, triumphing over Bishop Burton College with a score of 2-1 to claim the ECFA Men’s National Play Off Cup Final.

After a tense first half, Will Jenkinson’s goal from a corner in the 30th minute provided an early advantage, only to be countered by Bishop Burton College 45 seconds later. However, Riley McGregor’s winning goal from a corner in the 65th minute secured the win for Hartpury College. The team’s improved performance in the second half, coupled with their strong defensive play, ensured a well-deserved win.

Spencer Hamilton, Men’s Junior Football Head Coach at Hartpury University and Hartpury College said: “It was a tough day physically and emotionally but the way the boys approached the game was fantastic. The first 45 minutes was a cagey and nervous affair by both sides, which is understandable given the occasion, but it was great to see them so focused on the job in hand.

“All season, this group of players have been fantastic, and I am proud of them as a group with what they accomplished last Wednesday. This will be a lifelong memory for the boys, and they’ve been a pleasure to coach and manage this season. It’s great that many of the boys representing the U19s side have also already featured for Hartpury University FC, and many will continue along our well-established pathway from the college programme through to university.”

Hartpury University FC has also enjoyed an outstanding season, becoming Division One Champions in March.

Hartpury University and Hartpury College takes pride in offering students a dual career pathway, allowing them to develop their football talents alongside their academic studies. The college maintains extensive connections with professional and non-league clubs, providing invaluable work experienced and networking opportunities too, to help students forge their future career pathway.

Photo credit: Epic Action Imagery