The Male Football provision at SGS College has enjoyed one of it’s most successful years to date on the pitch across each of the teams and partner clubs.
The 2022-23 season has seen SGS teams collect three league titles and one National title, whilst partner clubs Mangotsfield United won the Hellenic League Cup and Stoke Gifford United enjoyed their highest league finish in the Gloucestershire County League.
The pinnacle of the success was the SGS Male 1st Team who won the ECFA National title played at Crewe Alexandra on Wednesday 10th May after winning the ECFA Division 4 Premier League title. The SGS Male Football first team started their season off with a 6-1 win over Future Pro Academy on the first day of the season. Dropping points in their next two games meant every game for the rest of the season was a must win for the squad. A last-minute Jadyn Crosbie equaliser versus Future Pro Academy just kept SGS in the title race with five games to go. However, the turning point of the season was the title deciding game versus local rivals Hartpury College where SGS came out on top with 1-0 win with Jeffrey Barimah getting the only goal of the game. SGS entered the final week of the season with three games still to play, knowing that nine points out of nine would claim top spot and the title of the ECFA Division 4 Premier League. Key victories in that week against St Brendans and Milton Keynes secured the ECFA Division 4 title for SGS College and progress to the ECFA National Play Offs where SGS were joined by the other 8 regional champions. In the ECFA Playoffs SGS were drawn away to Bishop Burton in the Quarter Finals, SGS came away with a comprehensive 2-0 victory with goals coming from Oli Jenkins and Jadyn Crosbie. SGS were then drawn at home in the semi-finals versus Bridgend College but due to circumstances out of both teams' hands we were given a bye into the final.
In the final SGS would face the reigning champions Fox Soccer Academy London in the Final of the ECFA National Play Offs being played at Crewe Alexandra FC. After a nervous start by SGS grew into the game after an outstanding save by Ben Britton in the opening minutes of the game. SGS took the lead in the 60th Minute after a fine header by Jaydn Crosbie after a Scott Taylor corner. 70 minutes on the clock and SGS made it two with Harry Johnson scrambling the goal over the line from a Lewis Hutchison freekick. SGS then extended their advantage with 10 minutes to go after a free-flowing passing move ended up with Lewis Hutchison finding himself free in the box and firing in the bottom right corner to make it 3-0. Fox Soccer got a goal back with a great finish to make it a nervy end to the game. The game finished 3-1 with SGS having some big chances saved and us failing to extend our lead.
The SGS Male Football 2nd team have also enjoyed success this term winning the AOC Champion Division A title. The squad started their season with a 2-0 win over Weston College goals coming from Devanti McInerney and Kacper Kalkowski. SGS continued their performances all season with great wins over Yeovil College and South Devon College eventually claiming the title with the most goals scored and least goals conceded. Additionally, the SGS 2nd team progressed to the latter stages of the AoC Premier Cup losing out to eventual finalists South Devon College in a tightly contested game. Additionally, a large proportion of the second team and Under 17 squad also play in the South West Counties Youth League on a Saturday morning for SGS Mangotsfield United. Playing in a league largely made up of older players than themselves saw the young side struggle early on, finding their feet in the Under 18s league with some last-minute defeats. However, a strong end to the season post-Christmas saw the team win six games in a row and finish 5th in the South West Counties Youth League. The Under 17s teams also went on a fine run in the South West Counties Youth League Cup, reaching the final eventually losing out to full-time outfit Torquay United in the final played at Bridgwater College.
One of the other key successes for the SGS Under 18 provision was their progress once again in the FA Youth Cup. After reaching the first round in previous years, the expectations were high in the build-up to this campaign with the squad having to go through four qualifying games to repeat their previous bests. The squad achieved some fantastic results en-route to the final against some local rivals; Preliminary Qualifying 1st round- Welton Rovers won 3-2, 1st Round Qualifying-Gloucester City won 7-1, 2nd Round Qualifying- Bristol Manor Farm won 1-0, 3rd Round Qualifying- Bridgwater United won 3-0. The squad would then face professional and full-time outfit Swindon Town at Mangotsfield United's Cossham Street. However, it wasn't to be on the night with the game ending 5-2 to Swindon after two late stoppage-time goals created a flattering scoreline.
Alongside the 16-19 success at the College, the HE squad (Under 21s) is progressing their way through the BUCS leagues at a fast rate of knots. The SGS squad, who have won the Western 7A, Western 6A, and Western 5A titles in the last three years, entered this term aiming for another promotion on their quest of reaching the BUCS Premier Division. The HE squad, made up of several players who are playing at local clubs including Mangotsfield and Cribbs, combined their studies and football impeccably. After decisive wins against Exeter University, Southampton, and Bournemouth University, the HE Squad were crowned league champions with 2 games to spare. The squad will now play at Western 3A for the 2023-24 term.
A key factor in the success of the SGS Male Football provision is the pursuit of excellence and providing a second chance to individuals who have been within the professional academy system in the UK. This provision allows players who have been released from professional academies to have a second chance at pushing on with their dream of becoming a professional footballer alongside achieving an outstanding education. A key difference to that of other providers is the ability for players to choose a course/vocation that they see a career in ranging from construction and sport to A-Level studies. The nature of this means that students can pursue their careers both on and off the pitch with such an approach proving invaluable for players. This has resulted in several individual athletes going on to achieve individual success as shown below. This adds to the recent success of Luke Spokes (Grimsby Town), Miguel Freckleton (Sheffield United), Kacper Lopata (Sheffield United), Antoine Semenyo (Bristol City/Bournemouth), Jai Semenyo (Cardiff City) who have all come through the SGS Male Football programme. Director of Sport Connor Sidley-Adams said,
"Providing athletes with an environment to thrive both on and off the pitch is a key component of what we do at SGS Sport, this is heavily shown in what the SGS Male Football programme has achieved this year, and we couldn't be more proud of the coaching staff and players."
- Jake Hicks-ECFA National Squad
- Jeffrey Barimah-Professional Contract in Sweden
- Number of players on trial at a number of professional clubs
- Michael Barry-Stoke Gifford United Manager's Player of the Year
- Devanti McInerney-Stoke Gifford United Players Player of the Year
- Oli Jenkins-Mangotsfield United Manager's Player of the Year
- Jadyn Crosbie -Mangotsfield United Players Player of the Year
- Joah Hall-Highworth Town Players Player of the Year
- Cameron Thomson-Fairford Town Young Player of the Year
- ECFA NATIONAL PLAY OFF CHAMPIONS 22-23
- ECFA NATIONAL DIVISION 4 CHAMPIONS 22-23
- AOC Championship Division A Champions 22-23
- BUCS 4a Champions 22-23
- SGS Mangotsfield United South West Counties Youth League Finalists