Tuesday 4 June 2024

Renowned Rugby School Continues to Clinch National Football Titles!

On Wednesday 22 May at Hawthorns Stadium our U15 squad became ESFA National Cup winners. This is the second year in a row that a St Joseph’s College Football team has won an English Schools National Cup.

As the St Joseph College U15 squad reflect on what has been a history-making season for boys’ football provision at the co-educational independent school in Ipswich, they should do so with great pride in the fact that they left everything on the pitch, earning every bit of the success they have achieved.

The boys’ journey to the final was not smooth sailing – they had been knocked out of ISFA National Cup competitions and their own County Cup in the quarter final stage – but the students remained united. They responded with big wins over Attleborough Academy (4-3) and St John’s (3-2), with Rene’s last minute winner in the latter sending his team to the semi-final of the ESFA National Cup. 

The semi-final itself saw our ‘Hollands’ pitch surrounded by a huge number of spectators for a St Joseph’s College boys football match, and the players responded remarkably. A Harvey free-kick was the highlight as the Joey’s beat Buckswood School 3-2 to reach the final at the home of West Bromwich Albion, the Hawthorns Stadium. Harvey, by the way, was one of two international footballers within the boys U15 group. He represents Scotland and his teammate, Ollie,is  a member of the Wales national team. 

Both Harvey and Ollie are also members of Ipswich Town (U15 side), a club which, as we all know, have had their fair share of recent successes. Through a link formed between club and College, St Joseph’s also includes a number of Town U21 players in our Women’s Dual Career Partnership, and the school serves as education provider for Town U18 boys academy scholars. 

In March, Town Women played their first match at Portman Road, in front of a record 10,000 fans. Seven former St Joseph’s College students were within that group: most notably, current students Leah, Towns Young Player of the Year, and Evie, as well as Town Player of the Season, Sophie Peskett.

St Joseph’s College football department, made up of Paige Shorten (Director of Football), Cole Skuse (Head Football Coach), Louis Henman-Mason (U15 Phase Lead) and Ian Kershaw (U13 Phase lead), glows with pride in what the students have achieved. Henman-Mason, the team’s lead coach, stated ‘Their hard work throughout the season has given them more and more self belief. With each progression they made in the competition, you felt as though the group were becoming more comfortable and confident, solving problems on their own and driving standards from within the group.’

This is the second year in a row that a St Joseph’s College Football team has reached the final of a National Cup. It follows the success of last year’s U18 girls, who achieved an unprecedented treble of trophies, winning the ESFA National Cup, ISFA National Trophy and the Suffolk County Cup. The girls’ success from last year has clearly had its knock on effect, paving the way for more success from the small Suffolk school.

 Once known just for its rugby, St Joseph’s College is beginning to showcase truly outstanding and well-rounded multi-sports provision for girls and boys.

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