Ross Bone delves deep into the university game, speaks to coaches and asks whether student or affiliated clubs are a future positive at Premier Division level
With Isca and University of Exeter securing their promotion to the Vitality Women’s Premier Division for the first time, the number of university and university-affiliated clubs in the top flight has swelled to four, whilst on the men’s side, Cardiff and Met’s promotion has ensured that the Men’s Premier Division still has two such teams despite the relegation of Brooklands MU and University of Exeter from the top flight.
If you take a look around the rest of the leagues, you can’t help but notice the increasing presence of university clubs or university affiliated clubs throughout the divisions.
A lot of the discussion around this that I’ve seen seems to paint this as a negative situation. I’ve seen people calling it a “threat” to other clubs in the system. Some are even saying they should not be allowed to compete in the league pyramid. It would be easy for me to jump on the bandwagon as others have but actually I feel it can be a positive for the leagues as a whole.
The university tie-in
One of the criticisms levelled at our domestic game is the increasing ‘southernisation’ of the Premier Leagues in particular.
Unlock our ad-free, premium content and get use of our subscriber-only app. Use coupon 3FOR1 to get 3 months for only £1!
Already a subscriber to our website? Login
Do you have a feature or story idea? Send your news. Get in touch!