UNIVERSITY of South Wales Men’s 1st football side won another title last night as they were named Team of the Year at the Sport Recognition Awards.
They were shortlisted alongside two other teams, the Men’s 5th Football side and the Women’s 1st Hockey team.
They took the top spot again, having already completed a British Universities Colleges and Sport (BUCS) league and cup double for the season.
The side, managed by Steve Savage and coached by Lee Kendall, won the Premier South title unbeaten and the BUCS Championship, which took place in Nottingham.
And the achievements for the night didn’t stop there: Kendall was named Coach of the Year after being shortlisted alongside Callum McGarry and Kaseem Taylor. The football coaches manage the Men’s 5th and Women’s 1st side’s respectively.
The Men’s 1st overcame Hartpury after beating local rivals Cardiff Metropolitan University in the last four. A 127th minute goal from Joe Evans sealed victory for 10-man USW to secure the Championship trophy.
Before that, USW faced Stirling University in a keenly-contested last eight tie on home soil. They needed extra time to secure the win; a goal from Clayton Green ending the Scottish side’s resistance.
Defender Evans, the hero in Nottingham, is also deputy captain. He was interviewed about the latest win for the side. In the absence of captain Kane Owen, who was on duty with his club side Penybont, Evans told ceremony host Rob Phillips that the new training regime was one of the reasons for the season’s success.
The players now have three early morning training sessions a week. They have also benefitted from the arrival of coach Kendall. The former Bristol City and England Women’s national team goalkeeping coach joined USW’s staff last year.
And in recognition of his work with USW football, tribute was paid to Savage from a range of the university’s management, staff and students.
The ceremony to announce the winners and celebrate the achievements of those nominated took place at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff.