Lennard Lee of the OUSWPA asks a few post match questions:
How do you feel the Oxford team has come along this year?
It has been a pleasure watching the Men’s Blues team improve over the season so far. We are a relatively young side, with half of the 16 man squad being first or second year undergraduates. We’ve seen these younger players continue to build their confidence and stake their claim as the future of the club. Overall, we’ve achieved an incredible level of fitness within the squad, with the consistency across the whole squad being a real feature. It’s this depth of fitness that has seen us win 6 of our 8 BUCS matches so far with margins of 5+, the largest being in the 18-7 victory over fellow semi-finalists, Cardiff Uni.
Who was your man/woman of the match this year?
The man of the match for the Varsity Match was Jay Danforth. Player of the season is still up for grabs.
Who was your most improved player?
I’d rather not say until our season reaches its conclusion.
What was the best goal of the Varsity competition?
In a match never separated by more than 2 goals, and for the most part by 1, there was a huge backhand in the second half by Freddie Evans in pit. The Cambridge goalkeeper was a class act and had rattled the confidence of our shooters, saving anything but the most accurate of shots. 1 minute in to the 4th quarter, trailing by 2, Freddie received a pass in to pit, and with the sort of legs you don’t expect to see in the 4th, rose out of the water with a huge backhand that beat the keeper. This took the score to 8-9 with 7 minutes to play and at this stage it really felt like we had to momentum to take the lead.
What did you think of the Cambridge team?
The Cambridge team were led by a couple of very strong players in Andrew Boyce (2) and Alex Ross (1 / GK), with an impressive depth of squad in support. We didn’t see a couple of their other key players who were wrapped early in the match, with 3 major fouls. As a team they defended hard in support of their goal keeper and this shows on the Oxford scorecard where only 2 major fouls of 14 resulted in Oxford goals.
This year saw two big changes that affected my team and the dynamics within the club quite a bit. The first of these was the increased depth of the Men’s 2nds and the rearrangement of BUCS fixtures - our seasons now consist of 7 league fixtures and a knock-out qualifier, where previously it was only 3 league matches. The combined effect of these was to see an increased demand on our limited pool time early in the season, with the Blue’s squad needing to prepare for important matches early in Michaelmas, where previously BUCS had been only in Hilary. Having made on the fly adjustments to accommodate these changes this season, we’ve recognized that the division of pool time needs to be carefully reassessed for next season, allowing the two men’s teams the time and space they need. Arrangements were put in place this season to allow for a 2nd team coach and hopefully next season will see this position filled.
Finally, anyone you’d like to thank or mention?
The club treasurer, Freddie Schecker, was a great asset to the committee and was someone I knew I could rely on to get the job done. He was a great sounding board for ideas and, more often, my rants. The latter probably being more difficult a task than managing the club’s finances.