England Colleges Women’s Team savour opportunity to play Manchester City Women

College students in the ECFA Women’s National Team had a unique opportunity to take on some of the best female football players in the country this week.

The squad took on Manchester City Women’s Academy at the state-of-the-art Etihad Academy Stadium in Manchester.

For the second year in a row, the ECFA side were invited to play in the Women’s Super League Academy Cup – a cup competition for all WSL reserve teams.

Despite being beaten 9-0 in the first leg of the match, it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for students to test themselves against top class opponents.

Given the ECFA team were up against a side who train together every day, they put in a resilient performance which they should be proud of.

Manchester City had four first team players in their squad, including a South Korean international who played at the 2019 Women’s World Cup.

Exeter College and ECFA Women’s captain Georgie Barbour-Gresham (pictured above) reflected on her valuable experience.

“We all came here and learnt from a top WSL Academy side. We are fortunate enough to play here; we’ve only been able to play twice all together. They’re a very good WSL Academy side who train day in day out but we’re all privileged to play against them and get the experience from it.

“I’ve been able to play some of the best girls in the country. I’ve come to Manchester from the South West today and haven’t had the opportunity to play a WSL club so it’s a very big deal for me to try and see what I can do against these players and learn from them.”

Head Coach Keith Boanas (pictured) said: “As a team we are grateful to be given the opportunity to participate in this competition. Of course, we do not have the luxury of training and playing together, as do our opponents, in preparation for these games but what they provide is a chance for our girls who otherwise may not get that opportunity to measure and test themselves against top class opposition at a superb venue.

“For us it’s all about providing opportunities and, regardless of results, a positive learning experience.”

Thank you to all the ECFA staff, families and college staff for providing such a valuable student experience.

Thanks also goes to our higher education partner and sponsors UCFB, Future Elite Sports and Catapult Sports for their support of the ECFA National Teams.