STUDENTS finished for the school holidays being able to reflect on a stunning football season.

The sixth-form squad produced the best season yet for Knutsford Academy, matching the exploits of Premier League giants Manchester City in achieving a momentous treble in 2022/23.

Glorious triumphs came in the North West Colleges Sports Football League, the Under 18s Cheshire County Cup as well as the John Tally International Showcase Tournament in Memphis, USA.

The 26-strong team of students aged 16 to 19 won each competition they entered.

“We are so proud of the lads’ achievements,” said Tom Horner, Football Academy coordinator and PE teacher at Knutsford Academy.

“The Football Academy was launched in 2016, and we’ve enjoyed steady growth in numbers and footballing success since then, but this season was our best yet!”

While it was a remarkable collective effort, individual awards have also been made.

Tom said: “Special congratulations go to Matty Waters for winning Players’ Player of the Year and Jack Higginbottom for winning Mangers’ Player of the Year.

“And a big thank you to our sponsors McHale & Co. Solicitors for all their support.”

Winning the USA tournament opens doors for players The squad flew out to Memphis, Tennessee, in March and spent time training at the Mike Rose Soccer Complex, had a tour at the University of Memphis and played a challenge match against University of Memphis.

They then went on to win the John Tally Under 19s Showcase Tournament in emphatic style, winning all their games in the knockout stages, before beating Falls City Soccer Club 2-0 in the final.

“It was a fantastic achievement,” said Tom.

“But it doesn’t stop there. We have a unique partnership with Soccer Scholar USA, and they have facilitated our student Bailey Brown in being recruited for a football scholarship at Costal Bend College in Texas from August ¬- one of three scholarships to come out of the tournament. We’re delighted to say he’s accepted.”

The Football Academy is a special squad of players who study at Knutsford Academy’s Sixth Form.

Thanks to a unique two-year programme, that combines football and academic studies, students work towards football industry qualifications, receive UEFA B coaching from ex-professional Paul Butler, alongside their chosen A Level or BTEC courses, as well as competing in regional and international football competitions.