A Welshman who answers to the name of Tom Jones helped the University of Stirling on their way to being crowned university league champions.
Full name Tomos Jones, the midfielder scored Stirling’s opening goal in a 3-1 win against the University of Nottingham on Wednesday, the result seeing Stirling leapfrog their opponents to win the BUCS Mars Premier League North.
Goalless at half-time, former Oldham Athletic Youth player Jones, 19, set the ball rolling shortly after the restart then his fellow fresher Khan Williams-Mitchell added a second soon after.
Nottingham halved the deficit, but a clinical lob from one-time Falkirk striker Paul Sludden put the result beyond doubt, earning Stirling its second Premier League title in four years.
Jones, a first year Sports Studies student hailing from just outside Bangor in North Wales, said: “The first half didn’t really go as planned and it took us a while to settle into the game. In the second half, we stormed it, I was lucky enough to get a goal and the lads just took confidence from that and we got another couple.
“It’s a great experience to win the league; I’ve not won anything in ages so it’s nice to get some silverware. I won a few Schools Championships, but this probably tops that.
“It’s a really good standard as lots of lads have been playing in League One and League Two in England before coming to university. After my degree I’ll see where I go, but right now I’m loving being at Stirling.”
Head Coach Eddie May and his assistant Mark Spalding lead the performance football programme at Stirling, which includes football scholarships for promising young players. The team compete in British University competitions and in the newly formed Scottish Sun Lowland League.
May said: “It’s a great achievement to win the league and to have won it twice in four years is remarkable given the size of the university so long may it continue. A lot of the guys are only 18 and 19-years-old; it’s a really young squad and they can be rightly proud of their efforts.
“Both Tomos [Jones] and Khan [Williams-Mitchell] have been outstanding since they came to the university last summer. Tomos was the best player on the park going forward for us and I’m delighted for him. He has played right back all his days, but I think he’s got more in his armoury than that.
“It’s important for us to be really competitive in university matches and now we need to carry that form into the weekend fixtures as we try to win the Lowland league.”