“So here we are in 7th week, the penultimate week of term, I can’t believe how time has flown by. It only feels like yesterday when I was settling into the role, learning the ropes and setting up preseason friendlies. Now I feel like a seasoned professional!
The College leagues are going well, the University teams have got into gear and are putting in great performances and a 4 day tour to Ireland is all but set up, or at least will be by the end of this week.
The College Leagues
The usual contenders, Worcester and Teddy Hall are sitting at the top of the JCR Premier League with Exeter only a few points off the pace. Teddy Hall have been banging in the goals so far, scoring 42 goals in 9 games, yet they still have a way to go to beat the all-time record held by the Worcester team of 2009/10 who scored 83 goals in a season (sure I was a part of that team).
In the First division Keble are walking away with it, having won all of their games so far this season, putting them 8 points clear with a game in hand, they seem to have it all but wrapped up.
The JCR 2nd division is much closer; LMH are leading the way at the moment but there a few teams below them that still have games to play.
The JCR 3rd division is the tightest of them all, with 2 point separating the top 3 teams but there is still a long way to go and in JCR leagues anything can happen.
First team Cuppers is well on the way and the 2nd round is basically wrapped up now. There currently haven’t been any of the famous (C)upsets that we have seen in previous years, which makes for some exciting quarter final and potential semi-final clashes.
With Exeter, Teddy Hall and current cup holders and 3 times reigning champions Worcester on one side of the draw, it appears that our first (C)upset could be happening early next term.
Lifting the Cuppers trophy is something players can only dream of (it is pretty great from experience!) and for most of the members of the University they won’t have seen any other team apart from Worcester lift the historic trophy.
This year is it time for Worcester to lose their crown? Will a team step up and do what other teams have failed to do to Worcester since 26th February 2010 and knock them out of Cuppers? Only time will tell!
Reserve team Cuppers is a much more difficult competition to predict and with only the preliminary and 1st rounds played, there are still lots of teams in the mix that will still be dreaming of walking onto the hallowed Iffley Road turf come the end of Hilary term.
In recent years the trophy has alternated between Worcester and New College, often with both of these sides meeting in the final. This year it might be time for another college to step up and potentially lay the foundations for a 1st team Cuppers victory next season.
OUAFC BUCS FTW
Both university men’s teams got off to a rocky start in the BUCS competitions but since then things have picked up. In recent weeks the Blues have beaten Birmingham University 1sts 2-0, a fixture that they lost 5-1 at the beginning of the season; highlighting the dramatic progression this new team have made over the term.
They also defeated Loughborough 2nds in a thrilling 3-2 victory at home. On the road the Blues have been less successful and are yet to pick up a point, tomorrow they are hoping to change this, as they go away to Worcester in the BUCS Cup.
The Centaurs’ (2nds) fortunes have changed recently, apparently ignited by rapid progression in the Cup. Two wins in two weeks in the Cup took them through to the last 32 of the Cup, where they will face Bedford 1sts this Wednesday.
A recent 9-0 win against Derby 4th team demonstrated the attacking prowess that the Centaurs’ have to offer, if they can combine this with some of the resilience they have shown in their cup run then they will be a force to be reckoned with next term.
Tour of Ireland
OUAFC are currently in the middle of planning a winter tour to Dublin, to play Trinity College Dublin and University College Dublin, from 13th to 16th January.
As well as playing the two matches, we are aiming to have a group tour of the Guinness factory and see other famous sights such as Phoenix Park; where I once actually watched Robbie Williams in concert..!
The end of my career…
As I write this I only have a few weeks of my role left… normally the job should end in June but another opportunity has come up and it’s one that I can’t turn down.
I’ve been offered a place to train as a Pilot in the RAF. This is a childhood dream of mine and although I love OUAFC and being the Football Sabb, there is something much more exciting about flying at 2,000mph through the sky.
So when you’re next outside and you hear the roar of a jet engine above your head, just look up and wave as I fly past!”
“Over and Out”
This is part of our weekly series of blog posts featuring views from different members of the sporting community at Oxford. Next week we will hear again from Bernard Tao the Rowing Sabbatical Officer.