2007 – 2008
MEN’S ASSOCIATION FOOTBALL
Officers: Captain Max Olds; Secretary Ronan Ferguson
The past season was certainly an eventful one for Queen’s if not the most successful. After a few pre-season training sessions, and a friendly against last season’s Cuppers champions Brasenose, in which the team acquitted itself well despite being on the wrong end of a 3-0 result, Queen’s made its first tentative steps into the 07/08 season.
The first eleven had difficulty in the league, with key players such as James Kelly and Paul Gorrie unable to play due to commitments with the Blues and Centaurs. Nevertheless, the team played with a determination that was to be the hallmark of its season, and which would finally yield dividends in Cuppers. However, in spite of some spirited performances, the team never really played to its full potential in the league, despite the efforts of the captain, Max Olds, who led by example, displaying heroic commitment and remarkable consistency in the centre of defence.
Cuppers, however, presented a break from the grind of the league, and it was in this competition that the team began to play the standard of football which it would only fleetingly show itself capable of in league matches. Queen’s defeated a much fancied Magdalen side 1-0, with Bernhard Langwallner, returning to football after an eight year absence, scoring the goal that would take Queen’s to the Cuppers quarter final. The performance was a testament to the team’s sheer determination, and, despite the absence of talismanic captain, Olds, the lead was defended, with Paul Gorrie turning out a towering performance at centre-back. As if a place in the Cuppers semi-final was not motivation enough, the quarter final was against bitter rivals St Edmund Hall. Queen’s dominated in the first half, Kelly displaying his class in the centre of midfield, and Olds and Gorrie combining at the heart of the defence to frustrate the Hall’s best attacking efforts. At full time the score was 1-1, Gorrie having scored in the first half from a James Kelly free kick, only for Queen’s to be pegged back in the second half. Penalties were to settle the affair, and, after such a brave performance, it was a cruel way to resolve the tie, Queen’s losing 4-2 in the shoot out.
Under the captaincy of Jim Fouracre, the second eleven played a slick passing game, often daring to show flamboyance right in the face of the opposition. Whilst this was always heartfelt football, it often produced tense end-to-end matches.
A Cuppers draw against Merton-Mansfield produced an afternoon that will be remembered by all who took part. Goals, including sublime finishes from Dylan Grainger and Theo Perkins when it mattered, brought the game to a 4-4 draw at full time. The team were desperate to continue, believing that their fluid football was close to unthreading the opposition, but failing light reduced the game to a penalty shoot out. Although Martin Bourne showed impressive athleticism in the net, only the overseas import, Omry Apelblat, was able to tally for Queen’s, the result being a dignified exit from the competition.
The league season was also disappointing, even with the coaching efforts of Jon Dowle. However, Will Riley’s delicately-placed 30-yard curler in the last touch of the game gave Queen’s a victory over the purveyors of finesse, O.U. Korean Society. The team is grateful for the example and tactical know-how of the departing captain Jim Fouracre. Season 2008-9 will be accounted a success if it can produce such enjoyable, if not always successful, football as that of the season just ended.
Thanks must go to everyone who played for the Club this season, to Martin Cross, the groundsman, to Peter Southwell, our number one fan and only season ticket holder, and in particular to Max Olds, who captained the first eleven with great dedication, and was the team’s most consistent performer. Other strong performers over the season were Tom Joy, Ronan Ferguson and Tom Dalton. Finalists Tom Banyard, Chris Harrison, Jon Dowle, Dylan Grainger, Omry Apelblat and Paul Gorrie all deserve mentions for their service to Queen’s football this season, and will be sorely missed in the 08/09 campaign.