Designed as a route back into football for those unlucky not to make it in a professional academy, UCFB’s Undergraduate Academy allows students to combine training within a professional environment alongside studying a UCFB degree.

Both of UCFB’s Undergraduate Academies in London and Manchester have enjoyed unbeaten starts to their respective BUCS league campaigns this year. However, two students in particular have earned their own plaudits.

Women’s Undergraduate Academy students, Evie Gane and Lily Stevens, have signed for FA Women’s National League side AFC Wimbledon. Evie arrives at The Dons from Oxford United, whilst Lily has signed for the club on-loan from Crystal Palace.

Commenting on the move, Evie, who studies BA (Hons) Sports Business & Sports Law, said: “I’m delighted to have signed for AFC Wimbledon. I’m feeling good and I’m ready to start enjoying my football again after suffering with a number of illnesses and injuries.”

As members of the Women’s Undergraduate Academy, based at UCFB Wembley, both Evie and Lily are fortunate enough to work under a highly experienced coach in former Southampton FC Youth Coach, Kevin Braybrook. Working with Kevin is something Evie feels has helped improve her game greatly.

She continued: “Kevin has helped me a lot; he’s been a big support to me these last few months and has helped me find my feet again, so I’m very thankful for that. He’s a great coach who has tactically taught me a lot.”

When quizzed on the benefits of representing UCFB’s Undergraduate Academy, Evie said: “The main benefit is that you’re able to play regular football, which allows you to spend a vast amount of time to improve technically, whilst it also helps with building your overall match fitness.

“For me, it’s the perfect environment to try new things and to develop as a player. Since the age of four, I’ve always dreamt of becoming a professional footballer; it still is the dream and hopefully one day I can achieve it.”