Tag: Team Bath

From College Football To A-League Glory

What have Chichester City, Swindon Supermarine, the Brisbane Roar  and a rural agricultural college in the Gloucestershire countryside got in common? It’s a fairly obscure bit of trivia, which helps chart the footballing career of defender Matt Smith, who went from the County League title with Chichester to winning the A-League Grand Final with the Brisbane Roar, via a state league title with Palm Beach, a league title with Swindon Supermarine, a BUSA title with Hartpury College and the 2007 World Uni Championships. Not a bad career trajectory for a young man who just four years ago was at Cirencester Town, playing in front of crowds of around 150 as the Centurions battled to stay in the Southern Premier League (they stayed up by default thanks to Hayes & Yeading merging.) On Sunday he was part of the Roar side who fought back from 2-0 down with two goals in the final minutes of extra time, before beating Central Coast Mariners on penalties to lift the club’s first Grand Final victory, the crowd at the Suncorp Stadium was a 52,000 sell out. But speak to the down-to-earth 28-year-old and he will credit much of his success to the years he spent studying in the UK and the influence of the staff at a little known college, which is quietly gaining a reputation for its football academy. Smith studied for...

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Pulling The Plug On Team Bath

On Saturday afternoon at Twerton Park, Bath City beat Team Bath by a single goal. It was a win that maintained City’s proud record of never having lost to the university team, and this is a record that seems likely now to last forever following Team Bath’s announcement last week that they are to resign their place in the Blue Square South from the end of this season. The decision to fold follows confirmation from the Football League that they would not be allowed to play in the league, should promotion ever become an option, which has led the Blue Square Premier to confirm that the club would not be allowed into that division should it ever become an option. Team Bath have certainly polarised opinion. A small minority of supporters have supported a club whose stated aim was to assist ex-professional footballers to rebuild their careers by offering them degree programmes at Bath University whilst playing for the university football team. The vast majority of supporters, however, have come to regard them as “Team Tax”, a football club that has artificially inflated its position within non-league football to the detriment of other clubs using taxpayers money. On the pitch, there can be little argument that they were successful, rising from the Western League to the Blue Square South in the ten years of their existence and, in 2002,...

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