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Welcome Back Boss - 1 September

rob hopkins new college academyRob Hopkins is hoping that he can welcome boss Mark Teasdale back to the New College dugout having secured some cup progress for the student side.

The Swindon Advertiser reports, Hopkins stepped down as College chief in March due to his work commitments, taking over the running of the club’s U18 side, but has found himself back in the managerial hotseat in recent weeks. With Teasdale away on holiday and assistant Matt Cosnett currently waylaid following surgery, Hopkins is set to take charge of College’s Floodlit Cup clash with Burnham Reserves on Wednesday and next weekend’s FA Vase meeting with Fleet Spurs.

“The U18 league hasn’t started yet, so they needed me to come in and look after the team whilst Mark was away getting a sun tan,” said Hopkins (pictured) . “We’ve got some important cup games coming up and I’m going to be in charge for those, so hopefully I can welcome back Mark and tell him that we’ve had some good results and performances – he comes back halfway through the FA Vase match and I imagine that he’ll pop along during it. We were in the FA Vase for the first time last year and I think it was a bit of a shock to us but we know what to expect this time around.”

College suffered a 3-1 defeat at Tuffley Rovers in the Hellenic League Division One West last Saturday, despite Christy Millar giving the visitors an early lead. Alex Baker was sent off for bringing down an opponent in the area, with Rovers netting the equaliser from the penalty spot, which put the hosts on their way to taking all three points.

But Hopkins was delighted with his youngsters’ second half efforts with ten men. “Unfortunately, Alex’s sending off was a red card. They scored the penalty, then got two more before half-time,” he said. “But after that, the players worked their proverbial socks off. They ran themselves into the ground and the Tuffley management said to us after the game that they couldn’t believe that we’d done that with ten men. Hopefully the lads can take heart from that and take it into the next game.”


FA Competitions Target - 8 August

ian howell hellenic footballNew College Academy director Ian Howell has set his sights on the One West side qualifying for the FA Cup next season.

The student side missed out on getting into the world’s most famous domestic knock-out cup competition this term. When the new campaign gets underway tomorrow, Howell wants the youngsters, who will be managed by Mark Teasdale this term, to make a push for a finish in the top eight of Uhlsport Hellenic League Division One West.

“This is going to be a big year for us at the college,” Howell said. “We have got three sides running and for the boys in the Hellenic side, we have set them a few targets. Obviously we want to improve on last year, get a few more points on the board, and hopefully that will be enough to qualify for the FA Cup next season. It is a big deal to be in the FA Youth Cup, but now we want to establish ourselves in the FA Cup and the FA Vase. The points target to get into the competition changes each year but I think that if we can finish in the top eight then that should be enough - that is the challenge that the boys have.”

With New College fielding students, Howell admits that the players are going to have to deal with the severe physical demands of the Hellenic League as they make the transition from youth to senior football. “If the boys are confident in what they are doing then we will be fine,” Howell said. “If we can start the season well and play with confidence then we can do well. We shouldn’t have any problems with the fitness side of things and if we can manage the boys properly, we should have a good balance. Of course there are going to be sides that it is going to be tough against - teams like Purton have put together a strong squad.”

Howell admits that the challenge for his team of New College coaches begins when the under 17 and under 18 sides get under way sometime in September. “At the moment we have got a big squad and we’ve been back training since July,” he said. “Our recruitment this summer has been good. The Hellenic team will be made up mainly of third years - it will be up to the rest to try and force their way into the side.”


College Squad Developing - 24 July

New College coach Matt Cosnett says in the Swindon Advertiser that he has been pleased with how his new look squad is developing this summer.

The South Martson-based side have been back in for pre-season training for a week now and the Uhlsport Hellenic League squad have already claimed their first friendly win against Longwell Green, who play in the Western League Premier Division, with Josh Croucher’s strike the only goal of the game. While the majority of the players that featured were from the college’s third year set-up, several members - Ryan Morgan, Ollie Hunt, Kai Robinson and Antonio Gerrish - from the Under 18s side also featured.

“The first year players that we have got this year are doing really well,” Cosnett (pictured) said. “They have been back a week now and we are already stepping it up. Four of the lads, who are just 16, played in the Hellenic League side’s friendly against Longwell Green and did well. Longwell are basically last season’s Tytherington Rocks (who won Hellenic League Division One West) as the manager and a lot of the players have moved across. So it was a very good performance and we are happy with how it all went.”

New College are also preparing their Under 18s for their first venture into the FA Youth Cup. The side, who playing the South West Counties League, will travel to either Bristol Rovers or Gloucester City on the week commencing September 22. “It is great that we are in the FA Youth Cup, but it is a very tough tie for us,” Cosnett said.

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