Having played football for various teams from very young age, I can relate to the desire to play in a more structured, competitive environment. Fortunately, Manchester offers such opportunities in abundance, with a number of options available for those wishing to compete in a league format. In previous posts, I have alluded to the smaller-sided leagues available in conjunction with http://www.studentsoccer.co.uk. Through this website you as an individual, or if you’re lucky enough to have the backing of a full squad, can register with a team and compete against other teams of students all over Manchester. The website is regularly updated with fixtures, results and news concerning openings for tournaments. From personal experience, I have found it a fantastic tool for scoping out opposition, preparing for fixtures generally having a good nosey at what’s happening in the league around us. Overall, I believe it adds and extra edge of competitiveness that otherwise wouldn’t be present.
Another option for students wanting to play competitively is the Campus League, run by but not exclusively for MMU students. This allows for an entirely different experiences to those offered by Platt Lane, the Armitage Centre and The Ardwick Centre, as it is a more true form of football, 11-a-side, played on grass in the daytime, perfect for the purists out there. I spoke to Chris Berrovoets, University Football Activator for MMU, who runs the league, as he explains his role within the league better than I possibly could (again, I apologise for the poor video quality);
Chris is a second year student at MMU, who, like myself, has competed in the Campus League. It is run by students, for students, and a £1 a pop is well worth the admission fee considering you get a full 90-minute game at a competitive level in the notoriously wonderful Manchester sun(?). The Campus League is one of the very few student leagues within the area which is played on grass, due to the time constraints of playing within the daytime without floodlights. 2PM starts on a Wednesday afternoons at Hough End park provide the perfect opportunity to get involved, as it is within reasonable distance of both the major Manchester universities and avoids clashing with most university timetables.