Students of the Game – Charlie Johnson

Planning on going to University? Make sure you track down the ladies’ football team…

Everyone must remember their first day at University. Your parents drop you off with bags of clothes, take you shopping for food and then give you a quick lecture on eating well, staying safe and not drinking too much, before leaving you to fend for yourself. Then you are in your room all alone and the only people you can talk to are the six random people you have been thrown in a student house to live with, all as nervous as you and it leads to a very awkward first few days.

The first couple of weeks you are finding your feet, discovering that the fridge stays empty until you actually buy food, your clothes don’t clean themselves and you still have to buy a TV licences even if you are a student. This can be a very challenging time for anyone. Even though your ten hours of lectures seem so easy and the drinks deals so great, it is definitely a test of your survival skills.

There is however, a winning solution to your loneliness and that small amount of home sickness. Simply go to your university Sports Department or Student Union and find out how to get hold of the ladies football club captain. Quite often they will be the ones at Freshers Fair giving the netballers banter. If not, they might be the ones on a night out dressed in fancy dress, dancing around because they are not vein and don’t care what they look like. In my case Bournemouth University Ladies Football Club were the ones straight arming pints and dressing up as the Netball team to wind them up.

Once you find them, most university ladies football teams will welcome you with open arms, with a work hard, play hard mentality. Training sessions will be taken seriously, after all they are all in it to improve their game and as usual the team selection maybe competitive. A majority of universities will play in the British Universities Colleges and Sports leagues on a Wednesday and it’s a very serious prestigious competition.

You should still join even if you are new to the game or have played for ages, but have never been of the competitive nature. A University Football team is normally one big happy family, with pre match meals round people’s houses, plenty of banter and singing on the way to matches. There are also some great nights out, so you don’t have to be a star to feel at home.

A majority of teams will go on holidays, annual tours and players will keep you company in the Library when you have left your assignment to the night before. The older members will advise you on what too cook when you are £999 into you £1000 overdraft and even look after you on those messy nights out. Joining a ladies football team at university can be the difference between a good and a great “uni experience.” So if you plan to go to uni next year or are feeling a bit left out in your first term, track down the ladies football captain.

Pictured – Bournemouth University Ladies Football Club (BULFC) in 2004, a majority of us are still good mates. 

She Kicks – the online community for women’s football