As we have entered the second semester of this academic year, the University of Southampton sports teams are gearing up for the second half of their BUCS Campaigns. With much to play for in the coming months, including a mouthwatering clash with Portsmouth University for Varsity, the Wessex Scene caught up with the Men’s football team, and the netball team to check how their seasons are faring so far.
Josh Benson, University of Southampton Men’s Football Club Secretary:
The first team has had a promising first half of the season in the BUCS league. Despite a tough loss to division leaders UWE, the team responded with some convincing wins in the weeks that followed and now finds itself within touching distance of the top of the table. The next few weeks will define the season as we welcome UWE to Wide Lane for a real title ‘six-pointer’ before a double header against Solent! The team has a real shot at promotion this year and it certainly has the promise to be a very exciting few weeks for the club.
Alongside the midweek fixtures, we have entered a team in the Saturday Southampton Premier League for only the second season. Due to many postponements the team has only played a handful of games. However three wins from four against some of the better sides in the league is a good springboard, and wins from our games in hand will see us top the table.
Another factor in our lack of league fixtures is the success we have had in the cup competitions. In two different cups, most notably the Hampshire Cup, the team has negotiated its way past tricky opposition often from higher divisions. The next month will see two round of 16 fixtures take place, with a date at St Mary’s the reward if the team can surpass their previous achievements and reach the final.
It has been an exciting time for those involved and there is potential for even more good times ahead!
Tegen Ridgway, University of Southampton Netball Vice-Club Captain:
The Netball Club got off to a great start this season welcoming two new coaches in October. This meant that our 1sts and 2nds had a coach for every training session, as did our 3rds and 4ths, which has really made a difference to team tactics and team morale. It was also great to welcome 20 new freshers who have all fitted into our teams perfectly, working hard during training as well embracing the jump from school netball to university netball.
Although we have not won every match, each one of our teams has shown effort and perseverance to get as many goals as possible. Our 2nd team are currently performing brilliantly in their league. They are fourth, even after playing some really strong teams such as Bath and Exeter. Our other teams are really starting to gel as a unit and so we are hoping for lots more wins this semester. Many of our players have shone this year, especially our crazy fresher Lucy Rickett who joined the first team as a cracking defender. Centre court have been working even harder this year in order to move the ball quicker around the D and players such as Tessa Hughes, Beki Smith and Becky Forrest have advanced in this. Our shooters have continued to work extremely hard in order to ensure every shot goes into the net with Alex Pearson taking this to another level by gaining an almost 100% shot rate.
As well as showing dedication to the game there is no doubt that SUNC have showed true commitment in celebrating our success every Wednesday night with an epic range of fancy dress and drinking games, with the Prawn Cracker challenge being a particular highlight! However, as fun as that is, we hope to focus our energy on gaining some more wins as a club as well as thrashing Portsmouth at Varsity next month!
Many thanks to Tegen and Josh for their contributions.
Do you compete for a University sports team and have something to say? Has your season been going particularly well? Do you just want to get your club noticed? We want to hear from you! Email firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know what your University sport experience has been like this year.