Footballers reach national finals

PRIESTLEY’S footballers have reached the final of the AoC Cup – a national competition open to every college in the UK.

Their 2-1 victory of Hampshire-based Peter Symonds College saw them through to the final on 1st May, which will be played at League One side Walsall FC’s ground.

“It was a great team performance and the lads showed a lot of character recovering from one nil down,” said coach Josh Greaves.

“We showed that we can play beautiful football at times, but also find a way to win ugly if we need to.”

Priestley went 1-0 down in Wednesday’s match before an own goal off a dangerous cross by Jamie Benson let them back in.

In the 72nd minute Priestley went ahead courtesy of a goal by Jamie Smith off a Benson assist.

“We worked as a team and wanted it more than them,” said captain Jamie Smith, a former pupil at King’s School Academy. “We were thinking of everyone who was on the sidelines watching and that it was our chance to prove ourselves.”

Football academy manager Dan Jordan and coach Josh Greaves have focussed a lot of this season’s training on keeping possession from the back, playing through the thirds and

transitioning quickly between attack and defence.

It’s an approach that has paid off as Priestley are competing for the first and second division in the North West College’s league and are in the John Sleigh Cup Final on 4th April.

“The AoC Cup is the biggest competition we can compete in as a college so to reach the final is a massive achievement,” said Josh.

“It could be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for some of the lads to play in such a big stadium and one we know they are going to take full advantage of next month.”