U19 Shadow Scholars crowned League Champions

A youth soccer team poses together on a field in black and white uniforms, with a coach standing to the left. They are holding a large trophy in front of a goal net.

Grimsby Town Foundation’s U19 Shadow Scholarship A team were yesterday crowned EFL CEFA U19 NECL1 Champions after securing a 4-0 win on the final day of the season away at Sunderland.

The Mariners travelled North for the closing game of the season, needing a win to secure top spot, and a convincing win saw them take the crown, after losing only two games during the entire 2023/24 campaign.

The Mariners created the early chances of the game, with Sunderland’s shot-stopper unfortunately making a first-half penalty save to deny Dan Evison, who before that, had a 100% conversion record from the spot.

Sunderland piled on the pressure as the half continued, but it was Town who found the opener through Ryan Smith who headed home to give the visitors the advantage. The Mariners then enjoyed large periods of possession, before Jack McSpadden doubled the lead on the stroke of half-time.

Evison had put his first-half penalty miss behind him, when he scored a 25-yard screamer to add the third to the Mariners’ tally 5 minutes into the second-half, before Will Read added the fourth in injury time to seal the title.

This league success comes after the team also made it to the semi-finals of the national cup for the first time this season, losing to eventual winners Swindon Town.

Moments like this are all part of allowing aspiring athletes to experience what it’s like to be involved in a professional environment, in terms of playing matches on a weekly basis and training multiple times a week, while also getting relevant nutritional information and so on. This, as well as time in the classroom studying a BTEC Diploma in Sport, allows these young athletes to gain a wealth of experience in many different areas that will be valuable to them in their future endeavours in a wide range of industries.

In recognition of all their hard work over the course of the season, the scholars will be in attendance at this weekend’s League 1 play-off final between Bolton Wanderers and Oxford United, where they will receive their trophy.

BTEC Tutor Scott Drury, said, “I’m delighted that the past two years of hard work on the course both on and off the field has been rewarded . Winning the league and earning a trip to Wembley this weekend to watch the League 1 play-off final in hospitality is a real fitting end to the programme for some of these students.”

“The majority of the scholars have never been to Wembley before, so we are massively grateful to EFL CEFA for the opportunity for them to do that.”

If you or someone you know would be interested in our BTEC Diploma in Sport course in partnership with Franklin College, click here to find out more.