Team BTC Football Programme Going From Strength To Strength - Bridgwater & Taunton College

In just their second season at the top of England Colleges football pyramid, BTC men’s football have earned some notable accolades along the way. Securing the Colleges highest finish in the Association of Colleges(AoC) Premier League, before it was curtailed by the current Coronavirus outbreak, the team was on track for another historic season.
In February 2020, the team reached the AoC National Cup quarter finals, narrowly missing out on a semi-final place by one goal.

In November, the team also qualified for the AoC National Finals hosted at Nottingham University for the second time in three years, winning the South West regional seven aside competition in Plymouth. This would leave BTC as South West representatives for men’s football going into the finals.

BTC Men’s football also went on a whirlwind FA Youth Cup run, having won fixtures against several teams such as Bristol Manor Farm, Torquay United and Oxford City to reach the 1st round full, the teams run was only halted in a narrow defeat by Football League Academy opposition, Newport County.

The side also play in the South West Counties Youth League on a Saturday where they have had another historic finish. Before the Covid-19 pandemic, the team was joint top of the League with only a few games to go as wellbeing and Cup finalists.

Some notable performances have seen members the squad gain honours across the last two years with England Schools and England Colleges International caps. In the past 18 months, Luke Manley and Callum Watts have represented their country at home and abroad. In-fact, students have represented partners of BTC at Southern League Premier Taunton Town and Western League Premier Bridgwater Town, alongside many other notable clubs such as Willand, Street, Wellington, Wells and Buckland.

Recently BTC Footballer Callum Watts has signed for partners Taunton Town FC for the upcoming season. Callum had this to say, “I’ve enjoyed my time at Team BTC and I’d like to thank all the staff for helping me on my journey. I’m now looking to push myself into the Taunton squad and find my own feet. It’s been a real pleasure. #betterneverstops”

From the success BTC has had this year alongside their own personal success, two students have secured Soccer Scholarships to play soccer in the US whilst studying at high profile colleges next year.

Patrick O’Halloran is off to Walsh University, Ohio, to play NCAA DIVISON 2 whilst studying a Degree in Sports Science. Patrick, a former Castle School pupil, who studied Sport and Exercise Science at BTC had this to say about his time at BTC and his next steps;

The last two years at Team BTC have been a great experience and have allowed me to progress in my football as well as earn a Level 3 BTEC Extended Diploma qualification. Big thank you to Mo and Leggy who have been great all season and have set me up perfectly to go off to University in America where I will continue to play a high level of football alongside working towards a degree.

Luke Manley is heading to Mars Hill to play NCAA Div 2 whilst studying a Business Degree. Luke, a former Wadham School Pupil, who studied A levels at BTC had this to say about his time at BTC and his future;

I have really enjoyed my past 2 years at BTC. It’s been great working with some top coaches who all want to get the best out of you. I’ve also had some great teammates who made my experience at BTC lots better. Moving to America is a huge chapter and change in my life, however I feel it will benefit me academically (doing a degree in business). Also, it will help me progress my football as I’ll be training every day and competing in a great conference. I’m looking forward to experiencing a new culture and cannot wait to get out there.

Students at BTC accelerate their development due to the outstanding Sports performance provision provided. Every individual has access to Sport Science support, Strength and condition programmes as well numerous technical and tactical sessions. This is combined through the College’s dual career visions for all students where they can excel in their studies but also as a sports performer. This is not only recognised by the outstanding players within BTC but also those in pathways linked to BTC.

BTC has moved swiftly to sign new talent from the Bridgwater and Taunton areas, with Somerset FA u16s captain Merson Ham committing to BTC for next season, alongside Taunton District schools’ outstanding Sully McKenna. Both players played vital roles within BTC’s U18 Youth Cup and League as U16’s and have been rewarded scholarships for next year when they join BTC.

Sullivan McKenna who joins us from Castle School said,

I can’t wait to go to Bridgwater & Taunton College next year. After playing 1 season already with BTC in the Saturday league I’m looking forward to another challenge in the Wednesday league and the AoC Premier competition. As well as hopefully going on another good run in the FA youth cup.

Merson Ham who joins us from Bridgwater College Academy said,

I’m really looking forward to college & Team BTC football. Having played last season in the South West Counties League, I already know it’s going to be a good challenge to continue alongside the AoC Premier competition.

It has also been recently announced that BTC will be the only College in Somerset to offer students the chance to compete at the highest level of College football for both men’s and women’s next season. With both sides being re-accepted back into AoC Sports prestigious Premier League where they will once again compete against other high profile colleges across the country.

With the build-up to next season already under way, there is still time to apply for courses next year. For more information regarding Team BTC or studying at BTC as an elite athlete, please email Team BTC Manager Jamie Laird on lairdj@btc.ac.uk

If you would like more information about studying at Bridgwater & Taunton College please contact our Information and Guidance team on 01278 441234 or visit www.btc.ac.uk.

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