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Excitement Builds at Bryanston for UEFA EURO 2024

Bryanston is buzzing with anticipation as the UEFA EURO 2024 kicks off today. Following an exceptional football season at the school including winning the U18 South West Independent Schools League, pupils are eagerly preparing for the tournament. As exams come to an end, the flags are going up, the strips pulled on and the big screens polished in the boarding houses, ahead of the major matches. Pupils across the school of all nationalities, whether keen footballers or not, are uniting to celebrate the people’s game.

The excitement provides an opportunity to reflect on Bryanston’s remarkable football season, especially since the school recently made football a core sport. The arrival of Mark Foster as Head of Football in September 2022 officially put football on the map at Bryanston. Under his leadership, the sport has flourished, with an increase in fixtures at both inter-school and league levels, an impressive PSP (Performance Sports Programme) for performance footballers, and more opportunities for footballers of all abilities to take part in and enjoy the game. Over 60 fixtures took place for both Senior and Junior, boys’ and girls’ teams, and over 200 pupils joined in to play at all levels. 

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The Senior Boys 1st Team hit the headlines with an unbeaten streak of 11 games, culminating in a superb 2-1 victory against Sherborne School, which crowned them Winners of the U18 South West Independent Schools (SWIS) League in their debut season. They also made it to the semi-final of the Dorset Schools County Cup, narrowly missing out on a place in the final after a close match against Bournemouth College.

The Senior Girls’ 1st Team also had an outstanding debut season in the Girls SWIS League, winning four of their seven matches. Their dedication and determination is an inspiration for more girls around the school to take part in football.

Mark Foster, Head of Football, remarked: “The driving force behind our football programme is the sheer number of boys and girls eager to play every week, whether competitively or socially. Football is a social sport that breaks down barriers between year groups and ages. The excitement for the EUROs is palpable, making Bryanston an exciting place to celebrate football.”

Football’s popularity at Bryanston Prep is also growing with the appointment of Paul Manning as a PE teacher. Paul brings over 15 years of football experience, both as a player and a coach, having worked with premier league outfits. 

Starting in September Bryanston will expand its football programme. The senior football teams will now compete across two seasons, and five teams will play from January to April. 

Bryanston’s achievements last season demonstrate the hard work, commitment and talent within the school.  As the football programme continues to grow, Bryanston aims to attract more young and enthusiastic footballers to join the school. 

For now, we wish all the teams competing in the EUROs well in what is sure to be an unforgettable summer of football. “It’s coming home!”