THE British University football season is now well underway and Wednesday represents a big game for students on the degree programme at University of St Mark and St John (Marjon).
The football degree is run in partnership with Argyle Community Trust and Football Development Officer Gary Jeffery has taken charge of the Marjon squad, as he looks to adopt the Argyle ethos and his own coaching knowledge on a talented group.
Marjon welcome Southampton Solent on Wednesday and will look to build on the 6-0 cup triumph over Plymouth University, which came after narrow league defeats to Exeter University and University of Bath 3rds.
“Results haven’t been what we all wish for but that’s sometimes affected by injury problems and selection difficulties,” said Gary. “We’ve had misfortune with injuries and the lads are all adapting to the new experience of university life.
“The team needs to gel together, work together and fight together. A key element to our success is giving players the freedom to express themselves and enjoy the game we all love. I certainly believe in the quality of players we have at Marjon.”
The standard of player on display is reflected in the fact that many of the first-team squad also compete in the Peninsula League, which does place pressure on their bodies but also helps them grow as footballers.
“I genuinely believe our players have more to give and some of this could be in their minds. My goal as a coach is to help each and every player improve,” added Gary.
“The process continues on Wednesday, when we will have to press for long periods and look after the ball because we know they are a team that likes to retain possession. Where we can excel is with the pace and power in our team.
“My view is you manage every game like you’re going to win. We are going to work hard, be there for each other and make decisions for the long term. We’ll get some things wrong but we’ll get a lot right, too. That's work hard be positive and have some fun."
Other fixtures this week include the Marjon second team at home to University of Bristol 3rds, our 3rds take on University of South Wales 5ths and Marjon Womens looking to extend their perfect start at home to University of Exeter 2nds.
To find out more about the football degree programme, please contact Gary on email@example.com