Women’s university football team to take on Britain’s best

Durham University Women's Athletic Football Club showing their skills against Southampton.
Durham University Women's Athletic Football Club showing their skills against Southampton.
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A WOMEN’S university football team will be taking on some of the country’s best players.

Durham University Women’s Athletic Football Club, known as the Wildcats, will test their skills against some of the giants of the game, including Liverpool and Manchester City, when they take part in the Continental Cup over the coming months.

The opportunity to play for the Continental Cup games is a result of the team’s acceptance into the FA Women’s Super League (WSL), the highest league in women’s football in England. Durham is the only university-backed team.

Matches are played at Durham City’s ground, Ferens Park, and the squad is made up of the best players in the area, including university students on masters degree courses and those on scholarship programmes.

Team manager Lee Sanders said: “The team is working really hard and training up to five times each week. The opportunity to play against the best teams in the country is a fantastic experience for our players.”

Quentin Sloper, head of sport, music and drama at Durham University said: “Being the first university-backed team to win a place in the WSL is a tremendous achievement and we are extremely proud of our players.

“Women’s football is now the nation’s number one female team participation sport, with over a million regular participants. We hope that our team’s place in the WSL is a great example to others of what can be achieved through determination and hard work.”

Durham University runs an Elite Athlete Support Programme designed to support the very best student athletes in any sporting discipline, who are aspiring to compete at under-21 international level and beyond or seeking to secure a professional playing contract upon graduation.

In addition, the university awards about 12 sports scholarships per year. All scholarship athletes automatically receive access to the Elite Athlete Support Programme.