5 Aside Alive

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With lots of fast-paced games and plenty of showboating to view, 5-a-side cuppers is the perfect spectator’s antidote to the windswept and rain-drenched 11- a-side football on view for the other two terms. The favourites should be New College, who will feel they have a strong chance as league holders. Throughout the season they demonstrated strength in depth and possess dangerous forwards. Wadham will of course be having a ball this summer. As cuppers champions and a respected college around the university everyone will be wishing them well in this campaign. Watch out for June (27), dependable center-half Guiler (6) and talented striker Smith (10). When it comes to college football only a fool would write off Magdalen’s chances, despite their relegation from the Premiership this season. With a plethora of good players, great team spirit and a fantastic pedigree no one would fancy meeting them in the draw. There’s a dark horse around that might well kick up a storm this year in the shape of Hertford. Frustrated by a disappointing league campaign, their lads will have plenty of incentive to forget the frowns and sighs. Hertford are a quality outfit where their tidy build up is better suited to the five-a-side format. Impressive captain Sam Evans, with his good first touch and quick thinking, typifies their squad. However surely the favourites this year have to be the nearly men of college football, Catz. Having come so close in both cuppers and league everyone in Manor Road craves that first ever piece of silverware. With the class of Durnford, Elliott, Johnson and Hughes allied with the emergent excellence of Brown and Bargate, there is considerable talent in their stable. Perhaps player of the tournament will be Redmond, who may well prove a revelation between the sticks. Without the first choice goalies Catz may have suffered but the suspicion is that former captain Redmond may be the best keeper in cuppers this summer. So there you have it: a comprehensive look into the potential of some of the leading names in the tournament. Having read this you should be inspired to get on down to Iffley to support your college. Bring a picnic (Kit Kat anyone?), a clever chant and maybe your stereo player and bask in the spectacle.
ARCHIVE: 4th week TT 2003

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