County Champions at the Double!
First and Second XI Footballers on the BTEC Sporting excellence programmes have achieved unprecedented success this season by taking home a piece of silverware each for the first time since the programme was started in 2006.
Following a promising, but ultimately ‘trophy-less’ season last year, the management and players approached the new season with the target of gaining at least one trophy, and progress further in the National Cup. With a new fitness programme, a more strategic approach to training, and a talented new cohort, the stage was set for a season to surpass anything that had gone before.
It was a few weeks into the season before the new players merging with the old managed to get into their stride, but when they did, they made rapid progress in all cup and league fixtures, with performances of great artistry and purpose.
The First XI league campaign was their best ever with an unbeaten finishing record reading; P14 W10 D4 L0. The top four teams in the league progressed to the league play-off semi finals, in which we beat the holders St Ignatius with a comfortable 5-0 victory. The final was played at UCL (Watford Training Ground) against a physical Woodhouse College, a team we had beaten 7-1 earlier in the league season, only to lose narrowly 1-0 in a keenly fought contest in which the lads did everything but score.
This defeat only served to inspire the team to greater things, and after progressing to the Middlesex County Cup Final, via a 6-0 victory in the semi against Claremont, we played Woodhouse College again. Without performing to anywhere near the same standard as the first game, the lads still managed to come out with a 5-2 turn around to cement their place as the best 6th form team in the county.
The second team mirrored the achievements of the first team, an unbeaten league season with a record of; P12 W8 D4 L0. They also met St Ignatius in the semi final, sneaking through with a well earned 3-2 win setting up a final against a strong West London 2nd XI. A resolute defensive performance saw the lads take them all the way through extra time with the scores at 1-1. They eventually lost on penalties.
The 2nd XI’s success also came in the form of the Middlesex 2XI County Cup. They reached the final by beating Woodhouse College 2-1 in another closely fought game. The final itself was played at Harefield FC in atrocious conditions, and after going 2-0 up early in the second half, they managed to put on an excellent rear guard action for the last 20 minutes to lift the trophy for the first time.
The main disappointment this year came in the National Cup competition, in which the 1st XI managed to progress to the 5th round before losing out 3-2 at to Latymer, just before the final 32 stages of the competition. This has given the lads something to aim for next season, and there is a real belief that we may do something special in this competition next year.
A big thank you to all the lads this season who have worked so hard and achieved so much from the start of the season, and we look forward to taking you onto the next level, next season.