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Colchester United Ladies FC Academy took an Under-18 squad to the prestigious Copa-Catalunya Tournament held in Tordera near Barcelona and returned triumphantly with the silverware after sweeping aside their international competition.
After topping their group with three wins and a draw, the U's thumped Swedish side IK Frej 8-0 in the semi finals, setting up a final match with another Swedish club BK Lunds for the trophy. Colchester's youngsters put in another commanding performance, taking a 2-0 lead into the interval through goals from Maegen Doyle and Femi Walker with Walker adding a third in the second half to clinch the win.
There were jubilant scenes on the podium as captain Alice Nutman hoisted the trophy to cap a thoroughly successful and enjoyable week in the Catalan Region for the squad. Finishing with a record of five wins and a draw, scoring 33 and conceding just one in the process, the team drew rave reviews from coaches, players and supporters from teams both male and female from a host of European countries for the quality of their football.
The Championship was a fitting end to a memorable season that saw the Colchester United Female Academy reach the British Colleges National Elite League Final, the semi finals of the BCS National Cup as well as winning the Essex Colleges Cup.
Reflecting on the achievement as well as a highly successful season, Colchester United Ladies FC Director of Football Kevin Anderson said: "The Academy side has been an absolute credit to the programme both on and off the field, not only during this fantastic week in Spain but also throughout the season. They have undoubtedly established themselves as one of the very best Academy programmes in the Country and their conduct, academic achievement, attitude and committment has been exemplary.
"On the football side of it, the results speak for themselves and we have had several Academy players turn out regularly for the Seniors' first team in the FA Women's Premier League - one of whom, Maegen Doyle, has played her way into the England Under-19s picture.
"Just as rewarding we will have six players going on to university and one going into full time employment in the sports industry.
"Huge credit must go to our Academy Manager David Coyle, Assistant Coach Kate Longhurst, all the staff at Colchester United Ladies as well as the staff at Thurstable School in Tiptree where the programme is based."
There are still a very limited number of places available at the Colchester United Female Academy for the 2010-11 season and any female player between the ages of 16 and 19 with a good football background interested in becoming part of this exciting, top quality programme is encouraged to contact Academy Manager David Coyle by e-mail at email@example.com.
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