Bridgwater & Taunton College (BTC) are celebrating after their U18 Men’s Football team won the South West Youth League last weekend and took home the prestigious Gary Else Memorial Cup.
The victory, against Mangotsfield United (MUFC), is the result of the talent and dedication from the College’s Team BTC players and coaches, and that of a long term player development programme that BTC established with local football clubs, Taunton Town and Bridgwater United.
The College is proud of its commitment to its diverse and thriving sports provision, including state-of-the-art on-campus facilities such as a 3G pitch and brand new gym equipment. All students who study at the College are able to join Team BTC – the College’s performance sport provision and are then able to gain access to experienced coaches, first class facilities and athlete support.
BTC’s Assistant Principal of Land-based, Sport & Foundation Studies, Jason Gunningham said,
We are so very proud of the students and staff in winning this prestigious trophy. The game was thrilling to watch. The long term player development programme established with both Taunton Town and Bridgwater United Football Clubs in conjunction with our outstanding Team BTC football provision is attracting and developing the very best talent across the county. This latest success builds on those partnerships and provides the student football scholars with real opportunities and pathways into the semi-professional game.
We are very proud to be associated with both football clubs and thank them for their continued support and this current crop of players, who will, I am sure, follow in the footsteps of former students who are now playing for both clubs.
After the South West Youth League Final was postponed due to Covid, Team BTC were keen to impress at the final held at Fairfax Park on Saturday 4 September. BTC were first to score with star player Durant outpacing the MUFC full back, but MUFC responded with a counterattack – scoring two goals before half time.
In the second period Team BTC made changes which led to Hams taking the opportunity to strike on goal. Despite being saved, Mead pounced to draw the sides level at two all.
The Gary Else League Cup was still keenly contested as both sides threatened to score, but it was Team BTC who edged the encounter with Mead pouncing again to put Team BTC three-two ahead with a trademark finish. When the final whistle blew it was a deserved win for Team BTC.
Mo Hopkins Team BTC U18s Coach commented,
This is first time the Gary Else South West League Cup has been won by BTC. Our football scholars have returned to the College and this win has come as no surprise due to the hard work that the players have put into the pre-season this Summer. We are very proud of our player development programme with both Bridgwater United and Taunton Town Football Clubs and it is delivering a real pathway for young aspiring footballers to progress their football careers whilst studying at the College.
Team BTC has an array of sports performance programmes that students can participate in alongside their studies at the College. Students may also apply for sport scholarships to support their careers. If you are interested in finding out more or want to apply for a course at Bridgwater & Taunton College please contact our Information and Guidance team on 01278 441234 or visit www.btc.ac.uk.
Photo supplied: by Simon Plant