On Monday 24th of April, students from Oxford International College participated in the annual CIFE Football Tournament at the spectacular St George’s Park National Football Centre in Burton upon Trent. St George’s Park is the training ground for the England national football team and is also used for pre-season training camps for other teams, such as FC Barcelona. It is the permanent base for Nike Academy, an English football academy founded with the intention of helping unsigned players under the age of 20 to find a professional club. These future professional footballers were training just next to the pitch where the tournament took place!
All our students were very excited and we travelled to Burton upon Trent in anticipation of a unique experience. We had been training in Brookes Sport Centre in Headington since October 2016 and we were ready to face this challenge.
There were 14 teams from different parts of UK in the tournament and the teams where split in two groups of seven. The pitch where we played was called ‘David Beckham’ pitch. We played against MPW Birmingham, Cherwell College, Collingham Independent College, Bales College, Bath Academy and Cambridge Tutors College. We drew two games and lost four and even though we did not win any games and we could not go through the next stage, all games were very enjoyable. All our students participated in the right spirit: with fair play, competitiveness and teamwork.
After our games we watched and enjoyed the next stages. In the semi-finals, Brook House College beat reigning champions MPW London by three goals to one. In the other semi-final, last year’s finalists DLD College lost on penalties to Bosworth Independent College. In the final, Brook House College won a very entertaining game against Bosworth on penalties. Congratulations to Brook House College who are this year’s CIFE football champions.
According to the organisers, the standard of football at this year’s tournament was the best ever. It is our second year at this tournament and we will definitely participate again next year. We are grateful to the organisers for making it possible for 140 young students from different countries to experience playing at this world-class sports facility, enjoying this beautiful sport called football.
Special thanks to the all our students who participated in the tournament: Caleb, Jimmy, Jaff, Mukund, Joe, Isaac, Lenny, Yusuf, Abdul and Kai. Thanks also to my colleague Tarvo for coming along to support the team.
Article written by Enrique Monguio, Study Room Coordinator at Oxford International College