By Liv Messum
De Montfort University (DMU) has been competing in a variety of Varsity competitions throughout this week and last week, and the women’s football match did not disappoint.
On Monday (MAR 28), DMU faced off against University of Leicester (UoL) to see who would win the title of Varsity women’s football champions.
Coach Neil Butterworth said: “There is good spirit within the team and if we can match that spirit with high work rate and work for each other, then the team will be competitive.”
The team battled hard but suffered an unfortunate loss with an end result of 5-0 to UoL.
Neil said: “I think the team played very well and I’m very proud of each of their performances.
“I think if we had scored when we put UoL under pressure in the first half of the game, then the result may have turned out differently.”
DMU suffered from not being able to maintain consistent team selection due to a lack of numbers in training throughout the year.
Neil said: “The commitment to women’s football has been awful this year, meaning that our better players have been missing for matches and we have suffered heavy defeats.”
Captain Maddy Proctor added: “This year we’ve felt the effects of Covid, so numbers haven’t been as good as they could be.
“Hopefully in a year’s time we get that drive back, that motivation to want to play sport back that we’ve lost thanks to Covid.”
As a result of the lockdowns put in place in previous years, Maddy was the only team member who had previously competed in Varsity.
She said: “We’ve not had Varsity for the past two years so people this year were a bit more unsure of what it is, what it’s like, and what to expect.
“But Varsity is such a good experience, it’s not just your average football game. It’s the entire atmosphere, having the crowd there – you don’t get that with every football game.”
Maddy is currently in her final year at DMU, meaning that Varsity was her last match with the team.
She said: “Being on women’s football is probably the best thing I ever did, purely because it made me meet my friends that I’ve got now.
“Without having that sport, I don’t think I would’ve made such good friends.
“It’s also been great to have friends from different backgrounds, different ages, and to meet people from all over the world that I wouldn’t normally have made friends with.”
Even with the Varsity loss, both Maddy and Neil have high expectations for women’s football in upcoming years.
Neil said: “If the balance moves towards good commitment next season, then we can work at progressing players quicker and improving our chances when playing the league matches.
“I certainly hope this happens.
“Either way I will still be looking forward to coaching and improving those footballers joining the 1st Team next season.”