Stoke Newington girls are named Hackney’s team of the year

Stoke Newington school's girls football team

Stoke Newington school's girls football team - Credit: Archant

Stoke Newington School’s girls’ football team have been awarded the accolade of Team of the Year at the Hackney Sports Awards.

The ceremony, held at the Hackney Empire last week, recognised the school’s achievements over the past 12 months, with the Under-13s and 15s girls’ teams winning their respective London Cups – becoming the first school to win both trophies in the same year.

Both age groups also won their respective Hackney leagues, with the Under-13s crowned champions in the Arsenal Premier League Tournament, earning the honour of representing the Gunners at a competition at Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium.

Ian Bruce, who manages all the girls’ football teams at the school, watched on with immense pride as many of his pupils displayed the type of free-flowing football characteristic of his sides in Manchester, before exiting unbeaten in the last eight.

Bruce told the Gazette: “I am incredibly proud of all of their achievements over the past year and pleased that Hackney have acknowledged their hard work and success by awarding them Team of the Year at the sports awards.

“They all worked so hard, and all contributed in their own way. One of the teams only let in two goals in seven matches en route to the London Cup final last year, which is an incredible feat at this standard of football. “

The now Under-16s, who, like their younger counterparts, play their home matches on Hackney Marshes, are into the last 16 of the National Cup and look set to retain the Hackney League, having made a strong start to the season.

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Bruce, who combines his coaching commitments with his role as PE and drama teacher at the school, is hungry to replicate the unprecedented success of last campaign – which also included winning the East London Saturday League – at the very least.

“I would like to equal what we achieved last year, and perhaps do even better,” he said. “Reaching the last 16 of the nationals is the furthest we’ve ever progressed.

“Every year we’ve done better than the last, so who’s to say we can’t go all the way? Fingers crossed we do!”