by Julie Kissick
THIS time last week, USW Men’s 1st football side were preparing to face University of Bath in their final game of the season.
They needed a point to take the BUCS Premier South League but they went two better, grinding out a win and finishing champions.
USW captain Kane Owen struck home a penalty shortly before half time after Louis Gerrard was brought down inside the box. (Match report here.)
It was fitting that the captain got the goal. Owen has been a huge influence on and off the pitch this season.
He recognised that his side’s ten-game unbeaten run is the result of hard work and a strong team spirit, brought about in no small part by a change in the coaching and training set up this season.
“The way we’re playing football has changed from last year and obviously the results have changed,” said Owen.
He credited USW head of football Steve Savage and performance coach Lee Kendall with bringing about the improvement in the team’s fortunes. USW finished third last season.
Even the introduction of early morning training sessions has had a positive impact on the squad.
“It gets us in, gets us smiling and that’s the most important thing for us, it gets us smiling. What Kends [Lee Kendall] does on a day to day basis. He works so hard, so there’s a lot of praise for him as well.
“I don’t like singling people out. Every single one of us has put that graft in, waking up at 6 o’clock to travel in to train. I think everyone deserves praise.”