College football team are champions
By Sarah Wood
Cirencester College Girls Football Academy have been crowned champions of the Association of Colleges Women's Football League, Midlands division.
The team have just been presented with their champions trophy and medals.
Kerry Walklett, head coach, said: "I am really proud of the girls, not only for getting what they deserve, but for believing in themselves and each other to do it."
When trials took place for the Girls Football Academy at the start of the academic year, a record-breaking number of students went along keen to join the team. Some had never played football before, and some had been playing their whole lives.
The team quickly bonded and spent a lot of time setting standards and working out what they wanted to achieve, individually and together, before they embarked on their near-perfect season.
Across 16 matches, the team gained 12 wins, three draws and just one loss.
Kerry Walklett continued: "They have been nothing short of excellent this season. The league has been a real rollercoaster of emotions for us. For example, we travelled a five-hour round trip in a snow blizzard to Stoke, went 3-0 down in the first 15 minutes of the game and ended up winning 11-5. I think that day alone sums up the character and bravery of the group.
"I have to commend the girls, as the league has been really difficult. We are the most southern side in the league, so every away game is at least 1-2.5 hours away, and normally in the pouring rain!
"In a women's league, you also get a lot of clubs unable to field a full 11, so every week we had to adapt to the other teams' requirements and play seven or nine a side, for example.
"I don't think anyone at the start of the season would have us down to win the league."
Isla, year 1 student, said: "I was really excited to win the league, hopefully we can keep progressing next year and continue challenging ourselves. I think people should definitely consider joining the Football Academy, because there is a good amount of training, and it's a great social opportunity too."
Lucy, year 2 student, said: "I have played football since I was young, so I definitely wanted to continue playing at college. Throughout my time at college, the Football Academy has developed a lot. We wouldn't be where we are today without Kerry, her coaching has been amazing.
"With women's football getting more coverage in the media, hopefully more people will be inspired to join the Football Academy."
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