Coleg Llandrillo, Coleg Menai, Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor and Busnes@LlandrilloMenai logosColeg Llandrillo, Coleg Menai, Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor and Busnes@LlandrilloMenai logos

Coleg Llandrillo’s Football Academy team crowned champions

The students won the title with their ninth win in a row, having scored 74 goals in 10 games this season

Coleg Llandrillo’s Football Academy team have been crowned league champions after a dominant campaign.

Llandrillo beat nearest rivals Wigan & Leigh College 5-0 to wrap up the title with two games to spare in the ECFA North West Men’s Regional Football (South) division.

The win was their ninth in a row, with the free-scoring team having netted an astonishing 74 goals in 10 matches this season.

Hugh Holland fired a hat-trick in the decisive victory on the 3G pitch at Rhos-on-Sea, with Owen Herbert and Cian Evans also scoring.

After not dropping a point since their first game of the Category 2 campaign, Llandrillo hope to be competing at Category 1 level next season.

That would see them compete against the best college-level teams in Wales, including TNS, Connah’s Quay and Grŵp Llandrillo Menai’s joint Coleg Menai and Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor team.

Head coach and sport lecturer Matthew Williams said: “It’s fantastic, the boys have done really well.

“Next season, because of the success we’ve had this year, we’ve applied for Cat 1 just for Llandrillo. That would mean we’d play against the likes of TNS and Connah’s Quay in the highest standard of college football.

“We’ve got a lot of first-years in this group so we’ve got the nucleus of a really good squad which will stand us in good stead to compete at Cat 1 standard next season.”

Football Academy students have lessons from 9am to 2.30pm, when they are released three times a week for football training sessions. They benefit from the state-of-the-art gym and sports centre facilities at the Rhos campus, as well as GPS vests, Veo cameras and more.

Matthew says the link between their studies and football training helps keep the students motivated to achieve both academic and sporting success.

He said: “We have an academy timetable which is intertwined with the academics, and I think it’s that added motivation to complete the academics. Obviously it’s student before athlete, so if they’re not up to date with work they won’t be picked for the Wednesday and they won’t be doing sessions on a Monday, Tuesday or Thursday.

“Regarding the football provision, they have three sessions a week, including strength and conditioning, a lot of GPS, and a lot of analysis. We’ve got the Veo camera to analyse their performance, which is excellent because they can link it back to their academics. So if they do a unit for example on sports performance, they can utilise themselves as a case study.

“So it’s a really strong programme that we’ve got. It works really well for enrichment, and for rapport-building between tutors and students.

Matthew added: “It’s a lot of hard work with a lot of staff. We’ve got the strength and conditioning coach Sam Downey, Tudur Morris who runs the programme with me, and Matt Morris and Rhodri Davies who have both been part of it.

“It’s a collective effort from the staff as well as full-time lecturing, so it can be a challenge on a Wednesday when you’re travelling the country. But it’s all worth it.”

Llandrillo will now hope to remain unbeaten in the final two matches, having not dropped a point since a 5-5 draw at home to Reaseheath College in their first game of the season.

Their run since has included some huge victories, especially on the 3G pitch at the Rhos campus, where they have beaten Coleg Cambria Deeside 12-0, Wirral Met 9-0, and Riverside/Cronton College 9-2.

They have been just as formidable on the road, winning 7-0 away to Coleg Cambria Yale, 7-1 against Coleg Cambria Deeside, and 9-2 at Riverside/Cronton College.

Llandrillo’s final two games are at home to Coleg Cambria Yale, and away to Wigan & Leigh College.

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