Gateshead students are national champions

Both the men’s and women’s football teams at Gateshead College secured the British Colleges Sport (BCS) National Champion’s Cup at Stoke’s Brittania Stadium on Wednesday (May 22).

Gateshead College is already recognised as the best sports college in the country after being crowned ‘Sports College of the Year’ by BCS.

The men’s team, captained by Dan Halliday beat Huntingdonshire Regional College 3 - 2 while the women, who were cheered on by Dame Kelly, won their match against Filton College 5 - 0 with captain Molly Collinson scoring twice.

The cup final wins topped a season of success for Gateshead College’s men’s and women’s football development centres.

Each of the men’s football squads (from U17 to U19s) have won their regional BCS leagues and the League 2 side went unbeaten throughout the whole season.

The Women’s Football Development Centre have won the BCS Elite League, English Schools’ Football Association’s (ESFA) U18 National Cup, BCS U19 National Cup and were BCS U19 National Playoff winners. The women’s second team won the BCS North East League.

New fan Dame Kelly Holmes went along to watch the women’s final. The Olympian and her education team have been coaching and mentoring the team, along with all other students at the college’s Academy for Sport, throughout the year.

She said: “It was brilliant to be in the stadium to watch Gateshead College women's team take their fourth national title.

“Prior to the final delivery day for our education programme with the college's Academy for Sport, I promised the girls if they worked hard all day, I would come and watch their bid for the quadruple trophy and they did.

“They have had a fantastic year and it is testament to their hard work, dedication and ambition as a team, with an excellent support team and head coach. I'm sure they can go on to even bigger things, with the right mindset and great attitude I have seen across the team.”

The college’s men’s elite squad also forms the entire Gateshead FC reserve side and has won the U19 FA Youth Alliance League this season, retaining the champions title since last year when they won it for Gateshead during the club’s first year in the league.

As Gateshead FC reserves they have also won the Central League Cup, joining a prominent list of past winners such as Sunderland AFC, Leicester City and Manchester United and becoming the only non-league squad to have ever won the cup.

Goal scorers for the Gateshead College men’s team were Dan Halliday, Dan Taggart and Matthew Fisher while Abbey Joice, Charlotte Potts and Ellie Hall added to Molly Collinson’s double.

Paul Bryson, head football coach, said: “This tops an absolutely fantastic season for the each of the Men’s Football Development Centre teams and it’s great to have the women’s squad take the title too.

“It’s the best possible way to end the season and will give us something to fight to retain when the next season starts.

“Each of the players should be extremely proud. Their dedication and commitment have paid off in the best possible way. Both myself and the women’s coach Melanie are delighted with their success.”