Thursday 28 March 2024

An historic victory for ITFC and St Joseph’s College

On Saturday 23 March, the ITFC Women’s squad played their first game at Portman Road stadium against Chatham Town.

The 1st XI squad featured seven athletes from St Joseph’s College. They comprised two current students, Sixth Formers Evie Williams and Leah Mitchell, and five Old Birkfeldians: Summer Hughes, Sophie Peskett, Kyra Robertson, Nina Meollo and Maria Boswell, who captained the team.

Playing in front of a record-breaking 10,000-strong crowd, our girls rose to the occasion with a spectacular 5-0 victory.

The St Joseph’s College community came out in full force to show their support. Staff, family and friends filled the stands with elated chanting and gleeful cheering. As the goal count rose, so did our voices, until the entire stand showcased the sheer pride our community in the players’ achievements.

After the match, we managed to chat with Leah Mitchell, who stated emphatically, ‘This is only the beginning; I am very thankful that I was part of it… It’s surreal, such a great experience, it was just such a great day!’

And Leah couldn’t be more accurate: this squad has paved the way for women’s football, demonstrating the excellence of their performance, the admiration of their fans and the importance of equality in football in one single match.

As Leah and Evie signed the shirts and programmes of their younger adoring fans, the significance of this match was evident. Far from being simply a high-scoring game, it stood as a testament to women’s football and an inspiration for generations to come.

Why is over half of the ITFC squad from St Joseph’s College?

The collaboration between St Joseph’s College and Ipswich Town Football Club (ITFC) offers our students exceptional prospects for football advancement within both academic and club settings.

This partnership ensures students benefit from professional coaching, mentorship and insights into the operations of a professional football club.

Our objective is to nurture and sustain these collaborative ties over the long term, aiding aspiring players in pursuing their dual career ambitions. This involves broadening avenues for talent recognition, facilitating routes into professional football and fostering closer integration between the College and ITFC.

The success of this partnership is clearly illustrated by the consistent success of St Joseph’s College students playing on behalf of ITFC.

Both on the pitch and in the classroom, ambition fuels success. The College’s ambition is to fulfil every child’s potential by shaping their abilities and strengthening their confidence in the pursuit of their dreams.

Last Saturday those dreams were realised for seven of our current and former pupils. Congratulations to the unstoppable ladies at Ipswich Town Football Club!

Girls, you did the College and your town proud!

All photography is courtesy of Ipswich Town Football Club

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