With the new football season now in full swing, Sports Editor Adam Jones caught up with Southampton University Football Club first-team player Richard Amofa to preview the upcoming campaign.
AJ: How would you sum up last season’s performances?
RM: I think we could have done a bit better to be fair, it was definitely a season of ups and downs. We have a talented squad with a lot of quality and we showed that at times but at other times we fell short. Nevertheless, there are a lot of positives from last season that we can take into this one for sure.
AJ: What are your own personal expectations for the season ahead?
RM: I’d like to try and get on the scoresheet a bit more. I weighed in with a lot of assists but for an attacking midfielder I’d like to score a few more and take the pressure off the front three.
AJ: What is your best memory of playing for the uni?
RM: I’d say Bournemouth away in my 1st year… I scored from the halfway line. Bournemouth had just scored and their spectators were going wild. There wasn’t long left in the game so from the resulting centre I thought I’d have a pop. Luckily the keeper was off his line and I was able to lob him. My teammates went mental – It was the best way to silence the home crowd.
AJ: How do you keep yourself fit during the off season?
RM: I do pre season with a local semi-pro team. They play at a decent level, a few leagues away from the conference prem so it’s pretty intense and quite demanding. I played a few games for them against strong opposition too (including a few pros) so hopefully when I get back to uni I’ll be fit and ready & raring to go.
AJ: What is the rivalry like with Solent/Portsmouth particularly around the varsity game?
RM: The rivalry is very strong to be fair. They’re a few leagues above us so we respect their qualities. They’re technically astute and very well drilled, but whenever they come up against us we make sure that they’re in for a real game. Nothing is left on the pitch. It can get a bit heated sometimes; tackles flying, etc (ive been kicked about a few times!) but that’s just an exhibition of everyone’s desire to win. I’m lucky to be involved in such an event.
AJ: Outside the game, what can players expect from socials/tour?
RM: The socials are brilliant, its a great way for the boys to bond off the pitch and see if people are as good at drinking as they are as talking! It’s definitely become a main part of my life at uni. Win, lose or draw there is a good turnout, and we can all have a laugh. There is also only one word to describe tour – Incredible! You’ll never forget it.
AJ: What advice would you give any freshers starting this year?
RM: Just be yourself! Don’t be shy to express yourself on the pitch and play to your strengths. Work hard at training and you’ll see the rewards on the pitch. Unlike other unis who may choose based on who they’re mates with, here, positions are chosen on merit. Also, attend every social! SUFC is a massive club and you’ll make 50 mates straight away. You’ll also get to know loads of the other members of other sports clubs too. Also, make sure you know all of the drinking rules, or it could be an early night for you.