Four goals in a captain’s performance from Katie Barker has helped Tyne Metropolitan College’s (TyneMet) under-18 girls’ team net a prestigious national cup in a 7-1 final rout.
The striker’s Player of the Match display was the highlight of a thrashing of Sussex’s SEEVIC College in the English Schools FA (ESFA) Girls Under 18 Colleges Trophy on Wednesday, March 27.
Katie, 18, netted in the 34th and 37th minutes to put TyneMet 2-0 up at half-time, and scored her team’s fourth in the 58th minute and last 13 minutes later.
Team-mate Anna Soulsby’s unstoppable finish after 52 minutes had made it 3-0, with SEEVIC pulling an already consolation back within two minutes.
Seventeen-year-old Megan Farrell’s free-kick on the hour made it 5-1, with Erin Nelson, also 17, ensuring it was six of the best in the 62nd minute.
The win, at AFC Fylde’s Mill Farm Stadium on Wednesday, means TyneMet’s team is unbeaten in 28 games this season, winning all but one match.
Delighted Katie, who also plays for Sunderland AFC Ladies and has represented England under 18s, said: “I’m absolutely ecstatic, it’s absolutely amazing, I’m so happy to win and so are all the girls. We deserved to win.
“We absolutely smashed it. I thought that we were great from the first kick to the end kick. We worked hard and played as a team. Scoring four in a final is amazing.”
Carl Chater, Head of Women’s Football at TyneMet and a coach at the NUFC Foundation, said his players had been relaxed and confident before kick-off and always looked in control.
He said: “Katie is different class and has been the shining light for the college for the past two years. She was unstoppable in the final.
“It was a complete captain’s performance, real Roy of the Rovers stuff, but all our team played exceptionally well, and all lived up to their potential.
“The team’s performance was breathtaking, especially against a side which had won their league in the south of England.
“To play as well as they did in a cup final, when there was huge pressure on them, was truly fantastic.
“You could see from the first whistle that each team member was playing for each other, it was a complete performance. I’ve never seen them play so well.
“As a player and as a coach, you dream of games like this. Everyone was calm and relaxed. You almost couldn’t make up just how well the team played.”
Carl added: “We have competed in this competition for 11 seasons, but this was our first final.
“I think the secret to this season’s exceptional success has been largely due to the entirely positive environment we have established at TyneMet.
“The high-quality sports programmes we deliver also mean we have been able to attract excellent players over the past two years.
“The college is giving these girls a very good platform on which to learn academically and to play.”
Victories at York College and Runshaw College were next, and a final place was secured with a 2-0 semi-final away win against Huddersfield New College.
All but one of its team is studying for sports qualifications, either sports coaching or sports science.
There may still be more success to come for a side that has also won this season’s under 21 English Colleges FA league by five points.
They are also through to the final of the National Football Youth League Cup, where they will play Gillingham FC at a date to be confirmed.
The team has also progressed to the semi-final of the ECFA Premier League play-off where they will meet yesterday’s opponent SEEVIC College.
The final was part of a double-header celebration of girls’ football, with the ESFA U18 Schools’ Cup for Girls also taking place at the same stadium.
In all, over 100 schools and colleges entered the ESFA U18 Schools’ & Colleges’ Cup for Girls competitions, which showcase the highest schoolgirl football levels.
The ESFA says there has been an increase in entries into girls’ football competitions this season.
The games were streamed live online via the action live and direct to their mobile device.
Since 1904, the English Schools’ FA has been the National Governing Body for Schools’ Football in England, running all national football competitions for schools and districts across the country. National Cup competitions culminate in the staging of National Finals held at various prestigious football stadiums and training grounds from March to June. Previous venues have included Madejski Stadium, Goodison Park and Britannia Stadium.
Working with sponsors such as PlayStation, the Premier League and Danone, the ESFA can provide many different opportunities for children at all ages to participate in football in England.
Information on football programmes at TyneMet, which is part of Tyne Coast College, is available from Carl at , , or 0191 229 5000.