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Hannah Langford Aug 18

Hannah achieves her goal by securing football scholarship

We are throwing the spotlight on some of the inspirational stories behind our 2022/23 REACH and Construction Award winners this summer with HANNAH LANGFORD next up.

Hannah was the winner of our Governors’ REACH Award in recognition of her achievements as a footballer and as a Geography, Biology and Sociology A Level student. Both have helped achieve her goal of securing a football scholarship at the esteemed Loughborough University. Here she speaks about representing her country, winning the ECFA National Cup and how College helped her balance her sporting and academic commitments…

How would you say the College has helped your development over the past two years in terms of your studies and sporting experiences?

College provided an amazing environment where it was possible to do both sport to a high standard as well as study alongside that. This was made even easier by constant support from members of staff.

College also provided some of the most amazing sporting opportunities for me, which have developed me as a person and a player, like representing my country in the England Colleges national team.

How did it feel to represent your country with the England Colleges team? Did you think that’s something you would ever do – had it always been a target for you?

It was an unbelievable experience and extremely rewarding, especially having the honour of doing it two years in a row. As soon as I knew England Colleges was something I could have the chance of representing I was determined to be selected, and when I was it was a moment where I knew the years of hard work had paid off and this was not something many people have the opportunity to do so I was going to make the most of it. Going to St George’s Park for camps and Italy were definitely the highlights!

You came from a school that didn’t have a women’s football team – how refreshing was it to come somewhere where it’s taken very seriously?

It was really refreshing and one of the main reasons I chose to go to College. The York College football team has not only provided me with some amazing football memories but some of my best friends too.

In my first season at College we won the ECFA Knockout Cup, and I can genuinely say it was one of my most enjoyable seasons in football – and I’ve been playing for a long time!

What do you think of the standard of football coaching at College?

The standard of coaching was to a high level and the sessions were always really enjoyable. The programme is also always striving to improve and get better, and I can imagine the standard is only going to keep getting better and the women’s football team will continue to be extremely successful with the constant support of the coaches.

Games are being filmed now too – how useful and enjoyable has that been in terms of aiding your development and getting to see your best clips on film rather than them only being stored in your memory bank?

It’s been really useful as it allows you to analyse yourself individually but also the team, and opposition. This gets you thinking and looking for areas to improve your game as well as being useful in helping the team prepare and discuss a style of play or pictures we want to replicate in future matches.

This is especially important for cup matches when there’s a lot on the line!

You have played for Huddersfield too during your time at College – how does the College help in terms of balancing your sporting commitments with your College work?

Playing for Huddersfield Town in Tier 3 during my A Level year was definitely a big commitment. However, College were very understanding of the situation and that I was committed to playing at the highest level I possibly could. I was especially supported by my Progress Tutor Stu (Horsfield), who’s the best!!!

How did it feel as a team to win the ECFA National Cup?

It was an amazing experience and I felt like we had really earnt it as a team. We had won a penalty shootout and travelled to Brighton along the way, as well as coming from 3-0 down at half-time in the final itself to win 5-3 in extra time.

I also scored twice and played the full 120 minutes so felt like I’d really put a shift in to help the team to success which was a nice feeling. We were so close as a team as well and there’s no better feeling than winning with your friends.

Would you say that was the highlight of your time with the team?

There are so many amazing ones to choose from, but I’d have to go with either the cup final or the trip to Valencia.

Do you think moments like that really justify your decision to come to York College and would make you recommend any talented young footballer in the area to study and play football here?

100 per cent! I was given access to so many opportunities and created so many memorable moments with the best people that I’ll remember for the rest of my life because I chose to go to York College so I would strongly recommend it to anyone.

I believe you’re going to Loughborough University next – how much are you looking forward to that and what will it entail?

I’ve been in Loughborough for the summer doing pre-season and I’m really enjoying it so far. The facilities are world class and, once again, it’s a place where you can study at the highest level alongside playing sport at the highest level too.

What are your ambitions now in football? Has your time at York College helped raise those ambitions?

Just to play at the highest level I can but, most importantly, to keep enjoying playing as I think that’s the most important part. Playing at college definitely made me realise that and that it’s also really fun winning!!

In what ways is it inspirational for you to see a former student like Rachel Daly doing what she is now for England Lionesses?

It’s really inspirational as she’s representing our country at the highest level and performing on a world stage. It was always pretty cool to walk past her shirt in the corridor and think that York College was a part of her journey and now she’s one of the best players in the world.

What did it mean to you to win the Governors’ REACH Award?

It was an honour and really unexpected. It was a wonderful evening and receiving that award was completely amazing.

To have Stu speak so highly of me was a real honour and I’ll never forget it, so a big thank you to him and York College!

A big thank you to you too, Hannah, for sharing your York College story with us and we wish you the best of luck at Loughborough.