Double sporting success for Bishop Burton College Sports Academies

Bishop Burton College is celebrating as two of its hugely successful Sports Academies are finalists in leading national competitions.

The Junior Men’s Rugby Academy reached the final of the Association of Colleges (AoC) Premier Rugby championship and the Men’s Football Academy have secured a place in the final of the English Schools Football Association (ESFA) Super League National Cup.

The Football Academy’s recent victory falls a year on from reaching the final of the England Colleges Football Association (ECFA) Premier National Cup in 2022. This year, on a winning streak, the team have been crowned ECFA Premier League winners for the second time; finishing the competition unbeaten, winning all 12 of their matches.

The team hope to continue this success, playing Harris City Academy Crystal Palace on the 10 May in the ESFA Super League National Cup final at the Bet365 Stadium in Stoke – the home of Stoke City Football Club.   

Director of Football James Bennett said “I’m extremely proud of how the college football academy has performed again this year. After the disappointment of losing to South Devon in the ECFA Premier Cup final last year, the players have been so determined to reach another national final this year. Over 150 schools and colleges entered this competition at the start of the year so reaching the final is a fantastic achievement for everyone involved. To play at Stoke City Football Clubs stadium will be a once in a lifetime opportunity for a lot of our players so everyone is extremely excited.”

The Junior Men’s Rugby Academy, who beat fellow land-based colleges Hartpury and Myerscough on their way to the final played Newman College in a thrilling game on Wednesday 26 April at Walsall RFC.

Despite, Newman College remaining unbeaten in the championship, with a final score of 24 to Bishop Burton’s 10, Evan Woodworth, Head of ACE Boys Rugby, was incredibly pleased with the team’s performance. “To have reached the final of such a competitive tournament is a fantastic achievement. Whilst it’s always disappointing not to be crowned champions, they should be incredibly proud of the energy, enthusiasm and hard work they have consistently demonstrated throughout training and on the pitch. We’re not disheartened and can’t wait to compete again next year!”

The college’s highly successful performance sport academies allow talented athletes to access top-class coaching and training, alongside their academic studies. Open to students on any course, Academy members work alongside professional performance coaches and are given the opportunity to compete at a national level.  

Director of Sport and Sports Partnerships, Sarah Milton, commented: “To have not one, but two of our Academy teams reach the finals of these prestigious competitions is absolutely amazing. It’s testament to the fact that thanks to the highly expert team and their dedication, passion and enthusiasm, Bishop Burton delivers some of the strongest football and rugby programmes in the country. I am extremely proud of all the incredibly talented young sportsmen and staff involved.”

In the wake of this recent success, the college continues to look to the future and is searching for new and promising young talent to join the Academies. Budding footballers in Year 11 are invited to attend the college’s forthcoming Pre-Season Schedule. Anyone interested should directly contact James Bennett by emailing

The ESFA Super League National Cup final is on Wednesday 10 May with a 3pm kick off.  

To find out more about the Sports Academies please visit