The Mancunion

Britain's biggest student newspaper

Men’s football club lose training session due to ‘mix up’

Over 70 players now have to train at a single session, on a single pitch


The University of Manchester’s Men’s Football Club is currently training on one Astroturf pitch after the club captain had a “mix up” with training times.

Over 70 players from the club now train together in one session, on one pitch.

Last season the first and second Men’s Football teams trained on a Sunday evening, but when members of the team turned up to train last Sunday, they were told to leave because the slot was no longer theirs.

Club Captain, James Thwaites, said that he informed members of the team about the cancellation through Facebook, but admitted that “it’s impossible to ring around every single person in the club to let them know of a certain development.”

When asked why the slot no longer belonged to the first and second Men’s Football team, Andy Cowen, the University’s Athletic Union Sport Sabbatical Officer said: “They haven’t got that slot because they didn’t book it in the first place.”

Chris Renshaw, Assistant Director of Sport at the University, who is in charge of organising the training timetables, explained the process of booking training slots for each team.

“All teams including Men’s Football were asked for their bookings in advance of the term starting,” he said.

He explained how after the term started, someone from the club came to see him asking why their Sunday training session wasn’t booked, but when he checked his records no request had been made by them to train on a Sunday.

The slot never officially belonged to Men’s Football, but was booked as a three hour slot by the Campus League. They didn’t have their full 16 teams last year so reduced their training session to two hours.

“Unbeknownst to me, Men’s Football took that slot up by arrangement with the Armitage Centre and then played on it,” explained Mr Renshaw.

This year the Campus League re-booked their three-hour session meaning there was no free space.

“To cut a long story short, the fault is with Men’s Football, they never booked. It will be the official’s fault,” said Mr Renshaw.

“The first time they’ve not been able to use it was this Sunday, [the Club Captain] was fully aware that they could not use it and it was his responsibility to tell all of the team members,” added Mr Cowen.

When asked what he thought the consequences of the mistake, which results in over 70 players training together on one pitch, would be, Mr Thwaites said he could see “no detrimental effect.”

“If anything it can create a positive social aspect to the club, which is of course not a bad thing,” he assured.

“They still have the same amount of equipment, as each team has their own. The coaches we have are easily good enough to work with the space we’re given to create an intense, beneficial session for all teams.”

“We’re trying to solve it either way as a club and hopefully it will only be a temporary measure for now,” he added.

  • OK, lets gets a few things straight here.

    1) You don’t have a clue about what you’re reporting on. Hence the way you have edited this makes me sound like the biggest idiot in Manchester.

    2) Is this actually newsworthy? Must be a slow week.

    3) We were well aware that this week could potentially be our last on the armitage astroturf for the sunday session. However, until the campus hockey league had actually finished signing up teams, and subsequently letting us know if we could have the slot on the end again, there was no way of knowing if we could proceed with the slot. As it happens they have informed us late, leaving us without a training slot for our 1st and 2nd team. We are in the process of trying to resolve this. Due to the fact that the campus hockey league takes this 4-8pm slot every year, we would not have been able to just “book it in advance” anyway, and would have had to negotiate with them. They have recently reached capacity for their booking and will be taking up their usual slot.
    The 1st and 2nd team have only recently (this year and last) started training on Sundays, and the reason is purely down to a change in our head coach Stuart Leicester’s contract with Manchester United FC, meaning that he will not be able to make our Monday session, making the Sunday session necessary to give our 1st and 2nd team as much contact time with Stuart as possible.

    “To cut a long story short”, the fault is not with the club, and it is most certainly not with myself or any other club officials, as we have been working towards a solution for this since June, this summer. Unfortunately, without the go-ahead from campus hockey, we could not act further sooner. This is pure and simply one of those unfortunate circumstances where the next best solution needs to be found.

    4) You spelled my name incorrectly.

    James Thwaite, UMMFC Club Captain

  • lukas fedora

    This an absolute out rage, i turned up for the training session that was cancelled after walking all the way from owens park. i trhen waited around for up to 3 minuates before some one from hockey told me there was no football on. theres 8 minuates ill never get back.
    i fully uintend to take this to the highest possible level, maybe the european court of human rights.
    I’m very glad that you had time to write an article on this important matter, this is what all newspapers should be based on. hard hitting stories and not focusing on that drivel going on in the middle east, or crime or any of that pointless tripe.

    yours most angrily

    Lukas Fedora