College football is one of the most popular sporting activities at York. There is always an opportunity to play for your college in one of the many teams, whether this be the 1sts 2nds, 3rds or 4ths, with leagues in the autumn and spring terms, and the highlight of the year for college football; the college cup. York’s own version of the world cup, the crowds will gather and the players will attempt to make themselves York legends.
In the college cup, the 1sts, 2nds and 3rd teams for each college will play in 4 groups, with the winners and runner’s up of each group progressing to the knockout stages of the cup, while the teams in 3rd and 4rth place play in the plate and 5th place in the vase.
Here’s an ultimate guide to the teams you might be joining to compete in the league and cup this year:
Derwent: Manchester United
When Derwent are playing there are two things you will notice; Derwent will probably be favourites; and everyone watching will probably be cheering for whoever the opposition is. Derwent made it to the final of the college cup for the second time in two years, however for the second time they were beaten by Halifax. They also came close in the spring league, finishing second to James but you can always rely on them to field a strong team and push the opposition all the way. This time around they’ll be looking to improve on a year that lacked silverware and return to winning ways, however everyone else will probably be hoping that doesn’t happen.
Perhaps the most unpredictable college side, Halifax’s form last year ranged from drawing with Alcuin 2nds in their first college cup game, to then going on to win the tournament, beating James 1sts and Derwent 1st’s on their way to glory. That win meant Halifax have now won the cup three times in the last four years and have been in the final four years in a row. Some pretty impressive history but despite their previous glory they still seem to remain the underdogs against the other big college teams.
On their day James can produce performances no team are able to cope with, on paper they look to be the strongest college side although they have lost a number of key players who graduated in the summer. They were victorious in the spring league and conceded just one goal in the group stages of the college cup last year and brandished out wins by 8 and 9 goals a plenty. When it came down to the big matches however, when they really needed a sublime performance, they weren’t always able to come up with the goods, particularly in the cup. They won the autumn league in very convincing style, and are arguably the strongest college. They’ve shown themselves to be able to completely obliterate teams much weaker than them, but especially in the cup last year were unable to perform against other strong sides.
Vanbrugh: Tottenham Hotspur
Vanbrugh have players with the ability to make them a great side but last year they were unable to repeat their success of 2012 where they beat Halifax to win the college cup on penalties. They were the victims of a shock exit from the cup this year, in a game they needed to win, having been 3-1 up. With the players they have, they are always in the running but should probably perform better for the talent in the squad.
Often seen as a mediocre college team, Goodricke have quietly been improving and stunned Halifax in a 3-0 victory over the fox’s in the spring league last year. They also had a very successful college cup, progressing to the semi-finals, . They will look to improve on this progress this year and will be hoping to break through and challenge Derwent, James, Halifax and Vanbrugh for this year’s honours.
Wentworth: Newcastle United
Similar to Goodricke, the post grads can often provide a real test for the big sides, but again failed to make a real splash in either the leagues or the cup. They ended the spring league strongly, holding James to a draw, finishing … but their form slightly stumbled towards the end of the year, failing to make it past the last sixteen of the cup, narrowly losing to Goodricke.
Alcuin: West Ham
Alcuin have struggled for success on recent years but aren’t exactly a team the stronger sides would see as a pushover. There were many occasions last season when score lines didn’t seem to reflect Alcuin’s effort and though they haven’t been able to compete with the bigger teams, they never make it easy for them either. in the college cup group stages and losing in an unlucky fashion against Derwent in the spring league as well show they aren’t a team to be underestimated.
Langwith started the year in very poor form, losing every game in the spring league, and looked set to crash of the college cup as well. They improved dramatically however, with signs that there may be hope yet for the Hes east team after . They went on to be unbeaten in the group stages and progress to the knock out round, a massive improvement for a team who finished 5th the group stages the previous year, failing to qualify for the cup. A dramatic turnaround for a team mocked by many on campus, and they will hope to continue their makeover this year.
Playing their first ever games as a college, Constantine will have their work cut out to make a big impact on the college football scene, but with no expectation on them they’ll have nothing to lose!