Report on the Men’s Football Season So Far

St John’s Football A team captain Finn Gordon recounts the highs and lows for the various men’s teams as the end of the season approaches.

As we approach the end of the college football calendar, St John’s College Football Club is in a fantastic position. All three men’s teams are pushing for promotion, with the A team and B team fighting for the division 1 and division 4 titles respectively.

Starting the report off with the As, the league opened with a derby match against Chad’s A. Even after a long summer spent away from the pitch, the team was still on form and a strong 5-1 victory saw hopes for the season ignite. However, we were quickly grounded following back-to-back defeats against Collingwood G and Grey A, which resulted in the team slumping to the middle of the league table. Luckily, the next match – arguably the team’s best performance for some time thanks to some tactical changes – resulted in a 3-0 victory against South A. Since then, we’ve never looked back, and with only 4 league games remaining, it’s all in the balance. A special mention to Jonas Jacobsen, Ed Hardman and Matt Barrett, who joined the team in the summer and have settled in extremely well.

Definitely, the biggest achievement of the year so far was reaching the semi-finals of the men’s Floodlit Cup – a John’s first. Throughout the tournament, the team continued to play professionally; this was encapsulated by the penalty shootout victory against St Aidan’s in the quarter finals, thanks to the heroic goal-keeping skills of Oliver Corso. The level of support at these matches has been great to see and we hope it continues as the cup progresses.

Under the captaincy of Jamie Davidson Grear, the B team have been flying in division 4 and currently sit second in the table, with two games left to be played. John’s Bs playing style is really competitive, meaning they are currently the highest scoring team across college football. This is evidenced by their massive 14 – 3 win against Hatfield D, including 5 goals from defender turned striker, Adam Swift. In only 7 games, the Bs have scored 45 goals, aided by numerous goals and assists from midfield maestro Luke Thomas, and ingenious wingers Tom Doherty and Jack Cocksedge. This season, the old adage “the best offense is a good defence” has been really turned on its head by combined efforts from fresh additions Henry Wyness and Toby Davies and long-time B team players Adam Swift and Jack Tristani. With four games remaining, Johns Bs hope to capitalise on their advantageous position, to eventually lift the division trophy and seal their promotion to the lofty heights of division 3.

Last but certainly not least, the C team. After a brutal 2021/22 campaign under the fraught leadership of John’s alumni Joshua Mills, the Cs have installed a captain duo of Jack Walsh and Dominic Hanson, which lead to an unlikely promotion. Combining Walsh’s ‘no nonsense’ philosophy with Hanson’s preference for stylish play, the C team have brought their own approach to the game in the notoriously difficult division 5, earning the team the sobriquet ‘Samba Cs’. After amassing a paltry 10 points in the previous campaign, and thus avoiding relegation by a mere point, the Cs have won 6 of their opening 9 matches and have their sights firmly set on promotion. This rise in playing quality is seen most noticeably in defence, with new addition Thomas Porter often shutting down attacks. The team’s front line has also been bolstered significantly by the integration of Marcus Skordby onto the left wing and the ever-present Arvin Rezai-Kalantary providing a strong outlet for goals. While unfortunate losses to Castle C and Stephenson C have dampened hopes of a title charge, the ‘Samba Cs’ aim to take maximum points from their final three matches to provide the greatest chance of pulling off the unthinkable and making it to the fabled division 4.

So far, it really has been a successful year for St John’s Men’s Football Club and, come the end of the year, we hope to have left the foundations for the club to keep thriving in years to come.

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