2010 – 2011
MEN’S ASSOCIATION FOOTBALL
Officers: Captain Dan Williams
Although the 2010-2011 season may not be remembered as a key chapter in the aeons of Queen’s sporting folklore, football at the College has nevertheless enjoyed an eventful and thoroughly exciting year. Under the capable stewardship of midfield general Dan Williams, the 1st XI enjoyed an excellent inaugural season in the JCR Premier Division. Having spent much of their time contentedly wallowing in the safety of mid-table obscurity, a heroic late push for the play-offs materialised, halted only by a succession of injuries which crippled the nucleus of the side. New faces in the squad have made a big difference this year, with Milo “Calamity” Comerford looking every inch the classic Queen’s College centre-half, and Matthew “The Flump” Guinness making the most of a dearth of talent amongst the QCAFC strike force to claim the Golden Boot over the Brazilian wunderkind, Tom Castro. Señor Castro’s flashes of brilliance, permanently shrugged shoulders, and exuberant goal celebrations almost certainly point to an imminent transfer away from Fortress Riverside and back to the Campeonato Brasileiro whence he came. Special mention must also go to the College’s crew date machine and regulation-enthusiast Chris Greenwood, who kept his personal goal tally ticking over despite persistent victimisation from opponents, officials, fans, and team-mates alike. The team looks forward to welcoming him back for another season at QCAFC, and yet another generation of referees who will receive a well-deserved earful for their kit regulation ignorance.
The 2nd XI and the 3rd “Animals” XI both played out vintage seasons of inimitable college football, blaming their unparalleled number of goals conceded on a chronic lack of fitness, co-ordination, and form. An 8-1 loss at the hands of St Hilda’s 2nd XI in a pre-season friendly set the tone for a season of hard graft and little reward, despite bulking out the back-room staff with the addition of the team pâtissier, whose cakes and late-night fitness sessions worked wonders for team morale. Nonetheless there were countless highlights: a 9-1 thrashing of Oriel 3rd XI, a brace for Rob Farenden in his first league game as Animals captain and a very one-sided game against arch-rivals St Edmund Hall. Away from the league seasons, unwavering confidence and self-belief saw both teams propelled on lengthy runs in JCR Reserve Cuppers. The Animals swept through two rounds, dominating both teams 0-0 before turning to Queen’s specialist gloveman Kris Cawood, whose flying stops and immaculate conversion rate kept the dream alive. The 2nd XI also enjoyed something of a run until acute fixture congestion kicked in, destroying what little fitness remained amongst the squad and ending hopes of Cuppers glory at Queen’s for another year at least.
The incoming captains have already proved their dedication to QCAFC over the course of the year: for the 1st XI Sever has demonstrated his ability not only to give inspirational and well-structured speeches, but also to put both body and face on the line for his team; Watts for the 2nd XI has gained a reputation around College for always arriving early at the game, often with a bit of a mess on his hands due to badly organised oppositions; and Dinsdale, whose unending passion for the Animals has masked his inability to kick a football with anything other than his shin. Thanks are due to all those who leave Queen’s this year for their contribution to QCAFC over the years; likewise to Martin Cross for keeping the best pitch in Oxford playable come hell or high water, and to Peter Southwell for his unequivocal, and entirely unjustified, faith in Queen’s footballing talent.
WOMEN’S ASSOCIATION FOOTBALL
Officers: Captain Giulia Pradelli
The women’s football team began the season in a well-prepared and enthusiastic state, its confidence and identity being fostered by the acquisition of personalised ‘stash’ and later a formal team photograph. Yet, progress this year was not limited to merely decorative and symbolic feats. After last year’s team revival stretched to a mini-season, this year can be defined as a real season. Almost every scheduled match was played, the few exceptions being matches where the other team had been unable to recruit enough players. Some great football was played by members of last year’s team who were gaining in experience, and also by novice newcomers to the sport. The highlight of the season was the match against Hertford, which proved to be a frustrating, yet exciting, alternation of goal-scoring. A hat-trick from Joana Borreda and a goal from Erica Conway secured a 4-3 victory for Queen’s. Although this was the team’s only win of the season, it gave great confidence to the team (including the more hesitant and inexperienced players), proving that we were capable of playing good football and winning. The players’ determination, commitment and teamwork enabled the team to keep its place in the third division and, although there is scope for improvement, this season can be said to have been a success and a positive preparation for next year. Thanks are due to Martin Cross, the groundsman; to Chris Greenwood, Cameron Graley, Matt Guinness and James Dinsdale for refereeing the women’s matches at home; and to all those who have played for the team this year, whether regularly or sporadically, for making Queen’s women’s football a real sporting presence again.