Coach Tom Hayes pictured before training

November 23, 2021, by brzbs1

The Headliner: Meet the coach

Ahead of tomorrow’s Headliner event at David Ross Sports Village, where the University of Nottingham Men’s Football 1st team takes on Birmingham in the opening round of the BUCS Trophy, we caught up with the teams coach, Tom Hayes, on how the team have started the season and are preparing for the Headliner.

Thank you for your time Tom. How has the season started for the club both on and off the pitch?

Our season has started brilliantly. We are undefeated so far, having won 5 of our matches and drawn 1, leading us to being clear at the top of our league. Away from the football at the University of Nottingham, we have a lot of players playing at a very high level of non-league which is also a great success for us as a club. However, it has come with difficulty as it has certainly factored into us having more injuries than usual, although we have a great squad so we have been able to deal with this quite successfully.


How much are you looking forward to the match as well as the event?

It will be a great occasion for the boys to showcase their talents in front of many of their peers and represent the university in such a great event as this. Birmingham are definitely one of the best teams we have played this year and it will certainly be a tough challenge. They are in our league and will certainly be challenging for the title alongside ourselves.


Is there anything in particular you are looking forward to about the Headliner?

I think with this being the first time we will have been in the Headliner event, the unknown of the event is certainly something I am looking forward to. I feel the boys deserve this opportunity and exposure as they have worked so hard to get to the high standard they are currently at. It is a reward for the success we are currently experiencing and long may it continue.


How is preparation going in the build-up to the Headliner?

Our preparation is the same as always and we try not to change our approach for any game. Although the spectacle as a whole will be brilliant and a new experience for us, we will still focus only on what is put in front of us on the pitch and not let any external factors intervene in our preparation.


What was the experience like winning the BUCS Trophy last time out and does this motivate you more to retain it?

Our BUCS trophy win 3 years ago was a great experience and was something that will live long in the memory for this club. We narrowly missed out on winning the league that year and we ended up winning the Trophy final relatively comfortably against Bath, 3-0. We also went on to win varsity not long after this game which topped off a good year for us.


What are the aims of the club this season, both on and off the pitch?

This year we are looking to win the league and cup double. As long as we stay healthy as a group, retain focus and do not get complacent there is no reason why we won’t achieve this. To win the BUCS trophy would be excellent but the only way for this year to be a success is to get promoted first and foremost. We are a club that belongs in the topflight of university football and we fully anticipate competing to be the best university football program in the country in the coming years. Off the pitch, UoN FC is a role model of a club for its excellent charity work, and the boys should be applauded for everything they do off the pitch just as much as they do on the pitch.


Having won the BUCS Trophy before, Tom has experience of succeeding on big occasions and hope to see more of the same on Wednesday, as well as hopefully later on in the season! We thank Tom for his time and wish him and the team the best of luck against Birmingham.


Promotional banner for the Headliner event

The Headliner is an event series, hosted by University of Nottingham Sport and supported by RedBull showcasing our BUCS teams competing at the top level of university sport. Our latest Headliner event is built around our Men’s Football team beginning the defence of their BUCS Trophy. With their opening match of the tournament against Birmingham kicking off at 5pm, it’s sure to be a cracking match with plenty of action. Support from Red Bull promises an extra special match day experience for spectators with a live DJ. Our Headliner event is now sold-out, however you will be able to view a live stream of the action on the UoN Sport YouTube channel.
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