When Matt Welch took over as President of Leeds University Men’s Football Club in the summer of 2019, he, amongst others, would not have believed that THREE out of the four teams, would win promotion.
Wins upons wins was the fashion for the first team this season. With 15 to be exact, it was perhaps the most unsurprising promotion of them all. However, on the 19th February, they found themselves trailing by two goals at two seperate occasions on the day.
The first team were 2-0 down after the first half an hour, and with 20 minutes left to play found themselves trailing at 3-1. Yet, showing their grit and determination, and needing only a point against Leeds Trinity to secure the title, two late goals ensured a share of the spoils taking the league title. Jack Stirland celebrated his 30th BUCS goal, finsihing the game off at 3-3. Muted celebrations, but the title had been a long time coming. An older group of first eleven players will be sorely missed by the club, but we hope that they can continue their success this season, as they continue their BUCS Northern Cup run.
Having been promoted just last season, survival was the main aim for Max Kennedy and Charlie Rodick’s second eleven side this season. Remarkably, with two games to go, the 2’s sat two points clear at the top of the table.
However, York St. John 1’s travelled to Leeds in confidence, having been the only side to beat the 2’s in the league already this season. Any early nerves were settled, as a Charlie Kelly free-kick found the back of the net in the the first five minutes.
Another two goals from Conal Gallagher and Kris Rosenov came before the break, with the 2’s leading by three goals to nil at half time. A Michael Mattimore glancing volley put the icing on the cake, before a late York St. John’s goal ruined the clean sheet.
No matter what though, celebrations followed. The formula of counter attacking and confident defending had worked all season. Ramenez la couple à la maison, bien sur.
If that wasn’t enough for El Presidente to be running this club, Matt Welch’s 2018/19 campaign heartache when the 4’s missed out on promotion was finally avenged. With Nathan Brewster and Will Bainbridge at the helm, the 4’s were adamant they had to get out of BUCS Northern 5D.
The 4’s made the short trip to York, to play York St. John 2’s, with the reverse fixture ending 4-3 to Leeds before Christmas. With a lot at stake, the 4’s came to play. A tactical masterclass meant the 4’s played the majority of the game without the ball.
We’re still not sure quite who scored it, but somehow after a scrambled set piece and shot, the ball nestled into the York St John net, and the 4’s somehow found themselves a goal to the good. With plenty of shouts of ‘how long ref?’ and kicking the ball away, soon the 90 minutes were up, and limbs ensued.
They’d done it, three out of three promotions, all on the same day. Credit must go to Stephen Grimes and all the other coaches for the sterling job they’ve done, and to Matt Welch and all the committee members, making sure the club has been run the way it has been this season.
What a year for LUUMAFC, and what a sign of things to come in the next few years. Imagine not liking football, eh?