2019/20 has already proved to be an outstanding season for both of UCFB’s Undergraduate Academies, with both winning their respective league titles. However, for our Men’s Academy, who also reached the BUCS Northern Conference Cup final, their heroics have now been recognised nationally.

After an unforgettable campaign, which saw Mike Walsh and Kevin Hodgson’s side win nine of their ten league fixtures to cruise to the BUCS Northern Tier 2A title, three players have now received international call-ups.

Will Ozono, Henry Limpitishi and Ben Woods, who all starred for the Men’s Academy this season, have been selected for the latest English Universities squad.

Ozono, a BA (Hons) International Football Business student, was released from Premier League outfit Crystal Palace in 2018, before spending the following season with FC United of Manchester.

Despite the setback surrounding his Selhurst Park exit, the winger has bounced back to become an integral part of the Men’s Academy side. Describing the recognition to be picked for the England side as an “honour and a privilege”, the former Palace youngster revealed how representing the academy has helped improve him as a player.

He said: “The full time programme which was implemented this year has helped me enormously. Training everyday under excellent coaches and with a group of talented players has created a great environment for me to grow and improve as a player.”

Winger Will Ozono spent five years at Premier League side Crystal Palace.

Despite all BUCS sport action currently on-hold due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, striker Limpitishi, who was once on the books of Coventry City and Cheltenham Town, amongst others, failed to contain his excitement about his inclusion.

He commented: “I’m thrilled to have been selected because I feel all of the hard work and effort I’ve put into training with the academy has paid off with me being included in the squad.”

Like Ozono, Limpitishi, a BA (Hons) Football Business & Finance student, also paid tribute to the Men’s Academy’s coaching staff as a key factor behind his call-up.

He explained: “I think the Undergraduate Academy has helped me develop massively as a player; with the coaches we have, they’ve played a massive part in adding to my understanding of my position and have given me a lot of advice to help me continue improving and being the best I can be. I feel being selected for the national squad reflects that.”

Striker Henry Limpitishi was previously at Coventry City and Cheltenham Town.

Alongside teammates Ozono and Limpitishi, left-back Ben Woods, who lists Macclesfield Town and 1874 Northwich amongst his former clubs, was the third player from the Men’s Academy to have received a call-up.

“It’s an honour for me to get picked for the English Universities squad,” said Woods, who studies BA (Hons) Football Coaching & Management.

“Opportunities like this don’t come around very often so I’m extremely grateful and can’t wait to meet up with the squad and play my first game.

“UCFB have helped me massively this season; with the amount of intense coaching I’ve learnt so much on how to improve not just on the field, but also off it as-well. They’ve made me into a better player this year and I’m grateful for that.”

Left-back Ben Woods is looking to move back into full-time football after spells in the non-league game.