After leading the University of Stirling to a historic Scottish Cup run earlier this year, footballer James Berry’s next goal is to challenge for the Scottish League Two title with Stenhousemuir.
The 24-year-old Fifer, who graduated today, was captain of the University’s men’s team – the first student side to reach the last 32 of the knockout competition in 50 years.
It took Premiership side Dundee United to end the run in a match at Tannadice which attracted a 1,200-strong travelling support from the University.
James, from Kirkcaldy, has now signed a two-year contract with Scottish League Two side Stenhousemuir.
He said: “My next goal is to challenge for promotion with Stenhousemuir, and another Scottish Cup run would be nice too.”
James at Tannadice
Midfielder James was top scorer for the students, netting 23 and providing 13 assists, as the side won three trophies – the British Universities and College Sport Premier North Division, the Queen's Park Shield, and the East of Scotland Qualifying Cup.
Despite the challenges of leading the team to compete in eight competitions, including securing a fourth-place finish in the highly competitive Lowland League, James leaves Stirling with a Bachelor of Arts with Honours Business Studies and Sports Studies.
James said: “The Sports Scholarship Programme has offered me so much support and flexibility, which I’ve been grateful for. One of the best decisions I made was to come to the University of Stirling. I’ve made so many memories, and friends for life. I’m sad to be leaving, even though I’ll be playing football at a higher-level next season.”
As well as starring for Stenhousemuir next season, James will take up a new job as Business Development Graduate with social enterprise Queen’s Cross Housing Association in Glasgow.
“It’s fantastic to accept the job in the same week that I graduate, and I’m looking forward to getting started,” added James.
The University of Stirling’s sports scholarships are part of the largest high-performance sports programme in the UK, sending athletes to Olympic, World and Commonwealth Games. For more information, visit the University of Stirling website.