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10th March 2017, 9:29am
Up the Imps! University students and staff cheer on city’s football heroes
Student Candice McKane Students and staff at the University of Lincoln, UK, are preparing to cheer on the city’s history-making football team, Lincoln City FC, in their Emirates FA Cup quarter-final match against Arsenal this weekend.

The coveted trophy made a surprise visit to the University’s Brayford Pool campus as part of a tour of key locations around the city that have played a part in the Imps’ success story this season. Students and staff from across the University took the opportunity to snap photos and selfies with the cup. Supporters included the University’s men’s and women’s football teams, and representatives from the University’s School of Sport and Exercise Science.

Lincoln City FC became the first non-league team to progress into the FA Cup quarter-finals in more than 100 years when they beat Premier League side Burnley in February. This Saturday (11th March), the team will play Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium in London.

Cathy Thomas, Head of the School of Sport and Exercise Science at the University of Lincoln, whose academic team, students and alumni have worked in various ways with the club over  recent years, said: “The School of Sport and Exercise Science has for a number of years been working closely with Lincoln City Football Club but since the arrival of the new management team, Danny and Nicky Cowley, the partnership between Club and School has advanced to a new level.

“This academic year has seen the development of a genuinely enterprising and mutually beneficial partnership between the two organisations. The University is proud to support the exciting progress that Lincoln City has made both within the league and in their historic achievement in reaching the quarter finals of the FA Cup.”

Undergraduates from the University have worked on a range of activities with the club, including performance analysis with Lincoln FC’s Academy, sports therapy and massage, and hear from manager Danny Cowley directly through guest lectures.

Postgraduate students have undertaken player monitoring. Other work has involved sports science academic and students based in the School’s state-of-the-art Human Performance Centre undertaking 1st team pre-season testing.

Lincoln graduates are also applying their expertise to contribute to the success of the club. Former Sports Science students, Matt Page and Toby Ellis, now run a sports coaching businesses, VIRSCO and iCoach4Sport, providing statistical analysis for athletes and sports teams, including Lincoln City FC.

Matt said the pair had approached the club’s management team (Danny and Nicky Cowley) immediately after hearing of their appointment at the club, knowing they were advocates of sports science and performance analysis from their time at Braintree Town FC.

“We saw it as a unique opportunity to promote our companies and sent them an email about what we could provide,” said Matt. “That night I got a phone call from Nicky asking us to come in the next day.

“Our degree studies helped us a massive amount when it came to preparing for a career in the sporting sector. The staff, equipment and the feeling around a place like the University of Lincoln really make it unique. I have been to many other universities and cannot shout loud enough about how great the place is.”

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