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Nottingham Trent University students represent Mansfield Town FC in professional fixture against Sheffield Wednesday

Two Nottingham Trent University students represented Mansfield Town FC’s first team in the Papa John’s EFL Trophy last week.

James Clarke captained Mansfield Town FC against Sheffield Wednesday (Photo credit - Chris Holloway - The Bigger Picture Media)

James Clarke captained the side and George Cooper made his professional debut in the game in what was an extremely close match against League One Sheffield Wednesday.

The two players are both studying Sport Science at Nottingham Trent University’s Mansfield campus and turned in solid performances.

Mansfield Town’s goal included involvement from James Clarke, who delivered a crucial perfectly placed pass which contributed to the goal which levelled the game at 1-1.

The match, which took place at Mansfield’s One Call stadium was neck and neck until a last-minute goal from Sheffield Wednesday in the 93rd minute granting the opposing side a 2-1 victory.

George Cooper made his professional debut for the side (Photo Credit: Chris Holloway - The Bigger Picture Media)

The full match report for the fixture can be found here.

James followed up this performance with an appearance at the weekend against Oldham Athletic, in which he was awarded Man of the Match, and is looking to cement a regular place in the starting eleven.

James Clarke, third year student, said: ”Trying to find my way in professional football at first team level is a real commitment and a lot of effort, with plenty of focus set on that. Completing my degree alongside this has been a welcome distraction from the football bubble, providing me with knowledge that I can take onto the pitch such as overcoming mistakes, as well as everyday life in relation to time management and organisation, and would not have been possible without the support of the staff at NTU.”

George Cooper, first year student, said: “It’s very important to me to continue my education and develop myself in as many areas as possible. It’s a great opportunity for me here at NTU and the staff have been brilliant so far in helping me to balance my football and education. The learning I am doing and the understanding of a wide variety of topics within sport is only going to benefit me as a footballer and help be to develop and gain the edge on other players, so I am excited to learn more and improve myself both on and off the pitch.”

Dr Nathan Cobb, Lecturer in Performance Analysis at the Nottingham Trent University Mansfield campus, said: "James has become a real asset to our programmes here at NTU with his success on both football and academic fronts, and it's great to see his patience and hard work starting to pay off. I’m really looking forward to supervising his dissertation project this year and helping him balance that challenge with his football. George has just joined us but is already showing the requisite attitude and commitment to excel in his studies and hopefully on the pitch too.".

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    About Nottingham Trent University

    Nottingham Trent University (NTU) was named University of the Year 2019 in the Guardian University Awards. The award was based on performance and improvement in the Guardian University Guide, retention of students from low-participation areas and attainment of BME students.

    NTU was also the Times Higher Education University of the Year 2017, and The Times and Sunday Times Modern University of the Year 2018. These awards recognise NTU for its high levels of student satisfaction, its quality of teaching, its engagement with employers, and its overall student experience.

    The university has been rated Gold in the Government’s Teaching Excellence Framework – the highest ranking available.

    It is one of the largest UK universities. With over 37,000 students and more than 4,000 staff located across four campuses, the University injects £1.6bn into the UK economy. It has been the largest recruiter of UK undergraduates in each of the last four years. With an international student population of more than 6,000 and an NTU community representing around 160 countries, the University prides itself on its global outlook.

    The university is passionate about creating opportunities and its extensive outreach programme is designed to enable NTU to be a vehicle for social mobility. NTU is among the UK’s top five recruiters of students from disadvantaged backgrounds and was awarded University of the Year in the UK Social Mobility Awards 2019.

Published on 12 October 2021
  • Category: Press office