Stirling footballers crowned champions for fourth consecutive season in UK student league

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Ciaran McAninch
Ciaran McAninch scored one of the eight goals in the match against Newcastle University.

The University of Stirling men’s football team has been crowned champions of the British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) Premier North Division - the premium student league competition in the UK - for the fourth consecutive season. 

Chris Geddes’ side travelled to Newcastle University’s Cochrane Park on Wednesday afternoon knowing that they could secure the title, after results elsewhere had went in their favour earlier in the day.

A double from the University’s Cammy McKinley, a stunning finish from Ben Maciver-Redwood, and goals from Ciaran McAninch, James Stokes, Shea Scally, Luke Morris and Alex Jeanes saw the students win 8-0, and crown themselves champions for the fourth year in a row.

University of Stirling footballers won the Premier North division for the fourth consecutive year University of Stirling footballers won the Premier North Division title for the fourth consecutive season.

At the helm for all four titles, Geddes – whose side also won the Queen’s Park Shield and the East of Scotland Qualifying Cup last season – was delighted with the latest addition to the trophy cabinet.

Geddes, the Scottish Student Sport Coach of the Year, said: “I am delighted with the win – and so proud of the boys. To win BUCS four years in a row is an impressive achievement and is down to the hard work and dedication of our players.

“We are attracting good quality players and have a real professionalism amongst the team – they are fit and strong, they take care of their bodies, eat the right things, and work hard in the gym. They absolutely deserve this achievement – and we are looking forward to the rest of the season.”


Reflecting on the match itself, Geddes added: “We found out at around 3.30pm [on Wednesday] that Heriot-Watt had drawn with Nottingham Trent, which meant we could win the title if we secured three points against Newcastle. We kicked off at 5pm so knew what we needed to do.

“The game was great – but played in horrible conditions; it was snowing, it was raining, the boys were soaked – but they played very well and managed to get the result.”

The title win means that the University will automatically advance to the quarter-finals of the BUCS National Championship cup competition, which will be played in 2024.

David Bond, Head of Performance Sport at the University of Stirling – Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence, said: “I am really proud of what the men’s football team has achieved over the last few years; to win this UK student title four years in a row is no mean feat.

“This achievement reflects the energy and efforts that the players, Chris and his staff put in day in, day out – and I am absolutely delighted for them all.”

The University currently sits seventh in the Lowland League – the fifth tier of Scottish football – and is also still competing for the East of Scotland Cup, East of Scotland Qualifying Cup, Queen’s Park Shield and the BUCS National Championship. The side plays Cowdenbeath away in the Lowland League on Saturday, before taking on Bo’ness in the East of Scotland Qualifying Cup on Tuesday.

Stirling is Scotland's University for Sporting Excellence, with world-class facilities providing the perfect training environment for the University’s sports scholars. The University offers sports scholarships as part of the largest high-performance sports programme in the UK. For more information, visit the University of Stirling website.

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