Vanbrugh tanked, Hallam banks

By all accounts, Tank “absolutely bossed” last year’s University Firsts captain Matt Witherwick last Monday

By all accounts, Tank “absolutely bossed” last year’s University Firsts captain Matt Witherwick on Monday. Goodricke Seconds produced the biggest upset of the group stages, outplaying Vanbrugh Firsts in a 3-2 victory, and the stocky centre-mid seemed to defy the bodily laws of football – he really doesn’t look like he’s going to put you on your arse…but then he does. This was bound to happen at some stage: highly vaunted university players underestimate plucky college second-teamers (see my previous post), miss chances, sporadically nap at the back, suffer humiliating defeat.

But the ramifications will worry any V-Bar stalwarts out there: Vanbrugh might now have to beat Derwent Firsts to qualify for the quarter finals. That’s the Derwent team yet to concede a goal – having notched 8 in two games – with a central core that includes Greg Gardner, Chris Barnett and, of course, the capricious Dreamz Murphy. I know where my money would be.

Vanbrugh’s struggles have had a big fantasy impact, too, with only a couple players breaking the 7 Fantasy Points barrier after two games – and one of those is the off-colour Mark Gouland. If Vanbrugh fail to do the business on Tuesday Week 7, Gouland’s £8.1m price tag might come in handy for those window shoppers looking for a boost going into the quarter finals. Trading him out and bringing in a Dom Green (£4.6m, 13 Fantasy Points) or Chris Barnett (£6.3m, 15 Fantasy Points) doesn’t just provide the chance of better scoring, but frees up some cash to improve your squad as a whole.

In the latest Team of the Week – revealed every Saturday on the Fantasy “Home” page – Shaun Evans continues to defy the odds, having popped up for a midweek penalty and clean sheet, whilst Goodricke Seconds’ hero Andy Myhill leads the line after bagging two against Vanbrugh.

Start ‘em: Matt Hallam has been one of the players of the tournament so far for Derwent Firsts, despite only amounting 8 Fantasy Points. While his long-range belter in Matchweek 2 represented a rare score-sheet appearance, his dominant performances at the centre of a promising Derwent team make him a good bet to pick up steady points as the tournament progresses.

Sit ‘em:
This week Vanbrugh’s first-teamers deserve a category of their own (“Drop ‘em”?), but they’ve taken enough stick. More pressing is the revelation that Joe Cooper (£5.2m) has been edged out of Alcuin Firsts’ starting line-up after Parris Williams’ (£4.1m) two excellent displays alongside Dan Cox. Cooper is a confidence man and, after a decent regular season, a poor cup final performance for the University Seconds two weeks ago saw the belief drip-drop-drain away.


  1. Joe cooper is like the postman
    he always delivers.
    write him off at your peril. he will come back to haunt you.
    i’ve never seen such a natural finisher as joe cooper since robbie fowler was in his prime.
    a big game player if ever i saw one.

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  2. 31 May ’09 at 12:23 pm

    David Wetherall

    Joe Cooper = University Golden Boot winner 2008/2009

    Will come good: FACT

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  3. 31 May ’09 at 12:27 pm

    Stuart Ripley

    is there any coincidence that we have seen a downturn in cooper’s form since he shaved off that iconic mullet.
    Many Alcuin fans must wish he would grow it back.
    keep the faith.

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  4. Intersting…

    Joe Cooper = Samson?

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  5. on his day Joe cooper would rip ANY defence into shreds.

    and thats a FACT

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  6. 31 May ’09 at 12:47 pm

    Stan Collymore

    Form is temporary but class is permanent.

    There are a couple of big money wagers relying on him to out-score a certain Alcuin team-mate as well… this will no doubt egg him on. He’ll come good.

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  7. 31 May ’09 at 12:50 pm

    Ricardo Fuller

    worst buy, joe cooper by miles, can not believe he started the first game to be honest!!!! RIDICULOSO!!!!!!

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  8. 31 May ’09 at 12:58 pm

    Fabrizio Ravanelli

    Cooper is pound for pound the best that ever came from round here.

    he is the best striker at this university. it would take a wise man to argue against that medical fact.

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  9. Not even I would stoop so low as to start Joe Cooper… and I am a manager struggling to hold my career together

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  10. i echo Paul’s sentiments.

    i wouldn’t sign Cooper on a Bosman.

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  11. if fantasy football points were given according to looks
    joe cooper would be in first place
    he’s so handsome

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  12. Eileen Drewery is available not only does she heal injuries (for Mr Laird and Crane) but she can rebuild a strikers confidence .. and according to ray parlour she gives hair cuts so could bring back the mullet

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  13. 31 May ’09 at 3:42 pm

    Carlton palmer

    There was a good quote on Joe Cooper, Alcuin ‘striker’, which went something like, “His first touch is horrible. Trouble is, his second touch is worse, and lets not get started on his finishing.”

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    Isn’t that the Derwent 1sts goalkeeper?!

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  15. Derwent 1sts at 8/1? I’ll have £20 on that please York Vision…

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  16. Anyone who plays with a mullet commands my respect – im with the Alcuin fans on this one.

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  17. 1 Jun ’09 at 10:22 pm

    Anthony "Tony" Yeboah

    Joe cooper should be dropped for his own good. as a fellow striker i dont like seeing him embarrassed and RED FACED…… oh hold on a second?

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