Last Wednesday, 30th June, saw the Northampton Town Football & Education programme boys end their 2020/21 season with their last game at Liverpool, and what an unusual and long season this has been.
Despite all the challenges they had due to the Covid pandemic, lockdowns, online learning and training, injuries, the group arrived at this last game with the chance of winning the National Football Youth League Midlands Premier Division, the highest standard league outside Academy football and they play in the top division.
From last August this group of players worked very hard on and off the pitch with coaches Tom Ash and Fran Constancio, and from the start of the season they displayed some great football and they soon put themselves in contention at the top of the league.
After the last lockdown, the league resumed in April, having to play 2 fixtures per week on occasions, Wednesdays and Fridays, where the players worked really hard to keep the high standards they set in the first half of the season.
However, this situation started to become a problem with a big number of injuries coming up.
Here a special mention to Martin Dixon, our FEP physio and his university students on work experience, who did a great job trying to rehab those players to make sure the coaches had players available every week.
With the final game of the season, the group set themselves for their last challenge, as they were playing Liverpool, a clash of the top two teams in the league in the final game. With just 13 players, and 2 of those being keepers, the Cobblers players fought until the end in this game to try to achieve a win that could have meant winning the league, but unfortunately this game didn't go our way and Liverpool won, meaning that our Elite team ended second in the table.
Despite this result, we would like to congratulate every single individual who has participated in this most successful season within both teams, we all feel proud of you and your achievements.
Sometimes football has these endings, but they are just lessons for you all as young footballers to take on for your future careers.
We will come again and stronger next season.
Football & Education Lead
Northampton Town Football Club