WIGAN and Leigh College’s football academy are celebrating after winning the AoC (Association of Colleges) Sport North West League.

The team won 15 out of 18 games to clinch the title.

The college entered into an partnership with Wigan Athletic Community Trust in September 2018 and securing a league win has proved the collaboration has been a success.

Students received four hours per week of professional coaching from Wigan Athletic Community Trust’s coaches, which supported their skill development as well as their aspirations and future careers.

Head coach Phil Corrigan said: “They’ve done fantastic. The support from the college and everyone involved with the project has been brilliant.

"The lads have been very professional and I’m really proud of them.”

Former Lowton CE High School pupil Rob Boardman is captain of the team and is set to stay on at Leigh College to do a foundation degree in sports coaching.

He also holds ambitions to become a PE teacher in the future.

Leigh Journal:

Rob Boardman

“We’ve worked hard in training each week and winning the league means it’s been a good season overall for us”, Rob said.

“Training and learning from professional coaches from Wigan Athletic Community Trust has been great.

"It’s been a different experience for us and it’s helped develop us as players and made for a good challenge for the team.”

The team are based at the Centre of Excellence in Sport at Leigh College taking advantage of the state-of-the-art facilities at Leigh Sports Village.

The college has invested significantly into the Centre of Excellence, with Sports Leaders UK officially recognising it with a Regional Leadership Academy of the Year award (best in the north region).

Head of Sport Paul Heald said: “The partnership with Wigan Athletic Community Trust has been an outstanding success, the players have developed their game considerably as the season has progressed, the coaches have been pivotal in achieving this.

“This is exciting times for the centre of excellence because a number of the students will remain, which provides an excellent platform for further success next season.”

The football academy also benefitted from their annual trip to the iconic SL Benfica club in Portugal where they worked with high level elite coaches and learnt new drills and training techniques.

Paul added: “I’d encourage any school leavers to come along and look at our facilities including our Rugby Category 3 Academy which has a strong partnership with Leigh Centurions.”

“This, along with the football academy and wide variety of sports courses available to choose from can provide a great stepping stone for a career in the ever expanding sports industry.”