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Northumbria represented at Wembley in FA Vase final

22nd June 2021

Northumbria University staff, students and graduates were involved in the Football Association Challenge Vase (FA Vase) final at Wembley Stadium this year, representing both of the teams that made it through to the final of the competition.

Consett AFC and Hebburn Town beat off competition from over 600 other teams to make it through to the final of the FA Vase. The final score was 3-2 to Hebburn Town, who secured the trophy for the first time in the clubs’ 109-year history.

Northumbria University was well represented across both teams, with a number of the players being Northumbria students or graduates, along with staff members who guided them to the final.

Consett AFC pictured at Wembley Stadium

Dr Andrew Coyles, Senior Lecturer in Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation at Northumbria, is first team coach for Consett AFC. He said: “To be in the FA Vase final at Wembley was a very special occasion for not only all involved at Consett but for the whole town.

“The town supported us in the weeks leading up to the final and it was amazing to see the whole town decorated in blue and white which are our club colours.

“Consett had a lot to be proud of and they will certainly be looking to reach the final next season.”

Consett AFC received support from students and staff in the Department of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation at Northumbria leading up to the final. Dr Kirsty Hicks, Senior Lecturer in the Department, carried out physiological testing at the start of the season and was able to implement both nutritional and fitness programmes for the Consett AFC players.

Ali Alshabeeb, third year Sport Management student at Northumbria and Consett AFC player, scored the first goal in the game. He said: “My experience at the FA Vase final is one I’ll never forget. Being a student at Northumbria University and playing non-league football, I dreamt of playing under the lights in a packed stadium full of fans.

“Opening the scoresheet at Wembley was incredible for me, and I felt like I raised Team Northumbria’s flag on one of the biggest stages which is something that I’ll always be proud of.

“Being supported and acknowledged by my lecturers and fellow students made me appreciate Northumbria even more, as their encouragement is what kept me going.”

The Hebburn Town team also included strong representation from Northumbria, including Sport Science with Coaching Masters graduate and Strength and Conditioning coach for Hebburn Town Angelos Eleftheriadis. He said: “I feel truly blessed that I was able to be part of such an amazing experience. It is a benefit that very few will experience in life, being at Wembley not as a spectator but as a member of a team that won a prestigious trophy at the FA Vase.” 

Speaking about his role as Strength and Conditioning coach, he added: “I was able to implement all the knowledge I have gained from my BSc in Sport Science with Coaching and my MSc in Strength and Conditioning at Northumbria to prepare the squad for what has been the biggest game in the club's history.”

The FA Vase is an annual football competition for teams playing in the English National League system. It is one of the most prestigious cup competitions in men’s football and one in which the North East has had a long history of success.

Read more about the FA Vase final here.

Find out more about Northumbria’s Department of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation.



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