LOUGHBOROUGH UNIVERSITY FC
A BRIEF HISTORY
Loughborough University are the British Universities & Colleges Sports (BUCS) most successful competitor winning the overall championship 36 times in just over 60 years.
The earliest records of Loughborough Men’s football date-back to the 1919-20 side, under the name of Loughborough Technical Institute and guidance of Principal Herbert Schofield based in town. In 1920 it became a college of Technology, with the football side winning its first silverware on record in the Northern Junior Cup in 1922. Loughborough Men won their first UAU Championship in the 1938/39 season and Leicestershire Senior League in 1940, after the war they returned to winning ways in the UAU competition in 1947, 1948 and 1949.
Loughborough Men’s Football was transformed beyond recognition under Schofield’s leadership until 1950. In the 1950s Loughborough won in the UAU in 1951, 1952, 1953, 1955, 1957 and 1959. Many Loughborough Football graduates and staff also started to carve extremely successful Coaching roles in the Professional Game – a trend that continues to this day. The 1960s saw even more success with wins in 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1965, 1966 and 1969. In 1966 Loughborough became a University and also competed in the Leicestershire Senior League Division Two until 1972.
The 1970s was an extremely important decade for the Club. Three more University titles followed in the 1970s, and former student and then lecturer, Mike Holliday, took up the reigns of Head Coach, a role he would continue into the mid-90s. Early signs of Mike’s rein included an away victory over a Manchester United XI.
The side waited 35 years for a return to non-league football, entering the Midland Combination for the first time in 2007-08. After silverware in their first season in the shape of the League Cup, in 2009 Loughborough won promotion as champions to the Midland Football Alliance.
Loughborough then began to establish themselves in the Alliance finishing 13th in 2009/10 and 4th in 2010/11. Head Coach Tom Curtis left to take over as National team coach of Antigua & Barbuda towards the end of that season and the club appointed Stuart McLaren as the new head coach for the 2011/12 season. McLaren’s first term ended with a 5th place finish in the Midland Football Alliance and victory in the League Cup, the club’s highest ever honour. The League Cup was retained in 2012/13 as the side equaled their highest ever league finishing position in the Midland Football Alliance of 4th.
As well as playing in the Midland Football League, Loughborough has a strong football programme with 4 teams competing in the premier north competition and top 3 levels of the BUCS Midlands Championships.
Former players include Bob Wilson, Bradley Pritchard (Former Leyton Orient), Robbie Simpson (Exeter City), Leon McSweeney (Former Northampton Town & Leyton Orient), George Williams (Mk Dons & Former Barnsley)
Other former players and staff are littered throughout the Premiership and EFL, in a coaching and support staff capacity including Tony Strudwick, Rob Hulse, Paul McGuiness and Kieran McKenna (All current or former Manchester United), Sam Erith (England & Manchester City), Nathan Gardiner, (Tottenham Hotspur), Matthew Prestridge (Sheffield United), Matt Reeves (Leicester City) and Eric Ramsay (Swansea City).
With the appointment in December 2014 of Stuart McLaren as the Stirling Albion Manager, Loughborough University FC appointed Michael Skubala in the new role of Performance Manager for the Loughborough Football Programme.
Michael came to Loughborough with a excellent reputation and understanding of university football having already won a silver medal for GB at the World University Games as the GB Universities Assistant Coach.
Michael is also the youngest ever appointed national coach for the FA, where he was formerly the Assistant National Futsal Coach and now Head Coach.
With the restructuring of the football programme the Scholars struggled in the 14/15 season with former manager John Duncan coming on board in December to manage the squad. The season finished with Loughborough in 20th place avoiding relegation due to ground restrictions on a team in division 1.
The 15/16 season saw the appointment of Head Coach Karl Brennan. Now a university lecturer in Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, Karl comes with a great pedigree as a former Leicester City player and Loughborough student as well as former assistant to John Folwell at Quorn.
With Karl comes assistant Ricky Nurse who as well as Karl has a great understanding of non-league football.
In a season of transition with a number of strong performances against top 6 sides but disappoint results against lower opposition in the league the Scholars finished in 14th position with a record of W16 D9 L20. In the University BUCS completion the Scholars suffered a 1-0 defeat to eventual winners the University of South Wales at the Quarter Final Stage.
For the 16/17 season the Scholars are looking for a positive season across the MFL and BUCS competition. So far the league campaign has seen a much stronger start than previous years with a very new look young squad with only 14 returners from the 15/16 season 30 man performance team squad.