Association Football Club 2016 / 2017
Men’s Captain: Adam Rhaiti
Women’s Captain: Tilly Thatcher
2015 / 2016
MEN’S ASSOCIATION FOOTBALL
Officer: Captain Daniel Simpson
Arguably, this season has been one of the best in recent memory for football at Queen’s with the 1st XI gaining promotion to the premier division, the 2nd XI, captained by George Driscoll, establishing itself as a top tier Reserves side, and the Animals, under the guidance of Henry Theakston and Will Stone, coming worryingly close to escaping from the base of the college footballing pyramid.
A relatively low intake of freshers was rescued by the unearthing of several players who would go on to become key members of a 1st XI. Dan Haxell consistently provided calm and collected displays at centre-back, and the boundless energy of Adam Rhaiti revolutionised the midfield. Following an unfortunate 1-0 loss to Exeter in the first game of the season, the realisation that the team was in dire need of a goal-scorer led to the introduction of Dom Thelen, who played a major role in the team’s winning the next five games, scoring 36 goals in the process.
Having been knocked out of Cuppers in the second round in a sickening defeat by Pembroke after extra time, the team returned after Christmas with the sole focus on winning promotion to the premier division. A frustrating ban preventing university players from turning out for their college sides in the lead up to the varsity match meant that Jacob Burda, Thelen, and Rhaiti were often unable to play, leaving the rest of the team to grind out the wins required. Henry Hodgson, Karl Heilbron and Charlie Hicks provided the necessary goals, with Heilbron breaking the modern day QCAFC scoring record and Hicks the record for first team goals in the process. The commitment of the players ensured that the team won the league with a game to spare, earning 29 of a possible 36 points by virtue of some solid defensive displays, ever-present goalkeeper Isaac Vivian and stalwart defenders Johnny Church and Ryan Howsham being vital in confirming the long-awaited return of the College to the top league of college football.
The 2nd XI achieved promotion last season to the Reserves top division, and this year produced some solid performances that saw them stave off relegation to confirm the status of Queen’s as one of a select group of colleges with top tier first and second teams. Special mention must go to Mark Eastall and Jack Cowling who both broke the record for 2nd XI appearances despite still having a further year in the College. The team was unlucky to be knocked out of Cuppers on penalties against the same side that disposed of them last year, and no doubt Eastall and Cowling will be looking to exact revenge on New College next season.
The Animals threatened to upset the balance of nature after winning multiple games at the start of the season after the emergence of Matt Lewis in a central attacking role. His goals to minutes ratio was at one point among the best in Oxford, proving that pace and footballing ability mean relatively little when playing for the Animals. Under the guidance of captains Stone and Theakston the team recorded a memorable Cuppers win on penalties following a 5-5 draw, leading captain Theakston to state, perhaps prematurely, ‘we came, we saw, we conquered’. The Animals were promptly eliminated in the next round, but with the all-encompassing spirit of the Animals still very much intact.
WOMEN’S ASSOCIATION FOOTBALL
Officers: Captain Grace Beaney Colverd
Following an impressive performance last year, QCWFC started the season enthusiastically with a large turnout at the first training session, and such enthusiasm continued for the rest of the season. The weekly training sessions were a huge source of enjoyment as players with a range of experience from University level to novices came together. The season started with ups and downs as the team gained experience, finally finding its feet in time for Cuppers. The highlights of the season were beating St John’s on penalties to get through to the Cuppers semi-finals, and the semi-final itself, with a massive turnout of Queen’s supporters. The result, a 4-0 defeat by Pembroke/Corpus put an end to the Cuppers journey, but the improvements made by the team throughout the year augur well for the 2016-17 season. Special mention should be made of Eli Begg, Lucy Williams and Cecilia Hoegfeldt for their outstanding performances throughout the season.