HARTLEPOOL College of Further Education is celebrating triple sporting success.
Two of its footballers were instrumental in leading England to victory in the Centenary Shield against the Home Nations. One captaining the team while the other scored the winning goal.
The College’s Head of Football Ian Clark was awarded his UEFA A Licence this month while hot shot golfer Cameron Wallace was named AoC National Golf Champion.
Shahban Mohammed, 17, who is studying engineering at Hartlepool College of Further Education and Connor Short, 17, who is studying a BTEC in Sport both represented England Under-18s at the competition which is organised by the Schools Association Football International Board.
Both Shahban and Connor play for the College football team in Division One of the English Colleges Football Association North East League as well as playing for Stockton Town and Marske United respectively.
In order to win the tournament, England had to beat Wales by 5 goals in their 5-2 match after a heart-breaking defeat to Northern Ireland previously.
Shahban, who was Captain of the winning England squad, said: “I’ve been playing football since I was ten years old and I’ve always wanted to be a footballer.
“My family has supported me throughout and it was my brother who sang the praises of the College. He came here before me and persuaded me that the facilities here were brilliant for someone like me.
“The staff at the College have helped me a lot. Especially Tommy Miller and Ian Clark, who nominated me for a position in the England squad and helped me through my trials.”
Both players list Clark, former player for Hartlepool and now the Head Coach at the Colleges academy, as the greatest influence for them.
Shahban, said: “The facilities the College has such as the ice-baths, free massages and gym membership along with Ian’s coaching and mentoring really worked hard to develop me and my skills, his encouragement has definitely made me into a better player.”
Connor, who scored the goal against Wales that won England the tournament overall on goal difference, said: “Ian has helped me to develop new skills and techniques as a player. By being at the college it’s opened up opportunities as well.
“Recently we got to visit the Etihad Stadium and we had a training session at the Aon Training Complex, which is Manchester United’s training ground. It’s just been amazing”
Shahban, added: “Winning the Centenary Shield was an amazing feeling and we’ve been getting congratulations from all of the staff at the college and students too.
“None of it would have been possible without the help of the College and I definitely encourage any young people looking to do sport alongside a career to sign up. I do an engineering course but because of my involvement with the football team I’m given free access to all of the facilities and amenities available and it really does help.”
To find out more about what opportunities Hartlepool College of Further Education has to offer, head to its website at www.hartlepoolfe.ac.uk