The Oxford Women’s Blues Team have been going from strength to strength this season, sitting comfortably mid top of their BUCS league, scoring 165 goals in competitive matches this season. This multinational squad, for the most part all have several years experience playing polo, including two returning captains; Lucy Wright and Hannah Wilson – who is reprising her role as captain from 2006-7.
This dedicated squad has not only been training hard in the pool but also benefited from specialised strength and conditioning training, which has played a valuable role developing the squad into a more professional team. This year the women’s squad undertook a training tour to Budapest, the home of water polo, and learnt valuable lessons on game awareness, ball handling and contact play.
This group of girls brings an incredible level of dedication, enthusiasm (notably Anna Szyszko, VC, who hasn’t been seen without a smile since 2003) and drive to the pool, and are looking forward to the challenge of playing Cambridge as underdogs, in a shallow end pool.
Oxford Womens’ 2s
This newly created team has only really been separate from the rest of the squad of girls for a short period of time. The team is made up of some returning players, and a large number of new comers to water polo. They have had a steep learning curve this year over the course of several development squad matches, with increasing success with every match.
Several members of this team joined the Budapest Tour, which resulted in a dramatic improvement in game awareness and skills over the course of the season. Many of the starting 7 for this team narrowly missed out on positions in the 1sts, and have perhaps more to prove than the Blues this Varsity weekend.
Under the guidance of captain Leah Taylor-Kearney, and vice captain Matilda Hadcock, this team has amalgamated into a tight knit group, with boundless enthusiasm for the sport. What they lack in experience they are sure to make up for in determination, ready to do OUWPC proud as the first ever Women’s Seconds Team.
Oxford Mens’ Blues
The Oxford University Men’s Blues have gone from strength to strength in the 2018-2019 season. Coming off the back of a BUCS Premier South and Varsity win in the previous season, the team demonstrated that this was not a singular occurrence, finishing the current season with only 1 defeat and finishing 2nd in the league behind a very heavily fortified Cardiff side. This high position has enabled the Blues team to be eligible for Full Blues for a second year running – a feat which has not been achieved in recent memory until last season. This achievement is no doubt due to the excellent depth within our Blues squad, who started the season with a squad of 18 (which was difficult to whittle down to 13 for every game). This depth enabled the team to fight valiantly in every fixture despite being plagued by various injuries throughout the season. Special mention should be given to those players in the 2nd Team Varsity who consistently aided the Blues team in their times of need, and played to their best ability and stepped up when required. It has been a pleasure to lead the team this year, and will be an honor to walk out with them at Varsity.
Oxford Mens’ 2s
The Oxford Men's 2s come into Varsity off the back of a very successful season. With one of the biggest squads we have ever to pick from, and some great new additions to the squad, we secured second place in BUCS Midlands 2A.
We started the season with a hard fought win against Nottingham Trent, inflicting their only defeat on them all season. Our first meeting against the Cambridge 2s resulted in a resounding 15-1 win for Oxford, an excellent team performance all round. We also won a close game away at Oxford Brookes, coming out 6-5 winners with just 8 players available.
After just one loss in Michaelmas term, we headed into Hilary, securing another win against Cambridge 2s, this time a much closer game. Water polo newbie Tommy Pullan having his best game in the pool yet, scoring the bulk of our goals and seeing us over the line for a 13-11 win.
We had one more hard fought win against Leicester, which was achieved thanks to a beautiful lob from former club president Ameen Chekroud with the scores tied and just 90 seconds on the clock. Those results secured second place in the league for us, one of our highest ever finishes. It's been a huge effort this year with a squad including several young players - Matt Rosenfeld, Matt Webb, Josh Greensmith, as well as good performances from seasoned members of the squad Ameen Chekroud and Tom Morcom. Thanks to Ajay Kapur for all his work coaching.
After a much closer game this term, we're excited for what will be a close Varsity match!