Performance so far: Two late goals from Dave Coupland against a brave James thirds team sealed a 3-0 win in their first game of the tournament, on an afternoon where they really should have performed better. In their second game, they were able to find the back of David Ambrozejczyk’s net three times as they overcame Alcuin seconds, thanks largely to a stellar performance from Ben Smith.
Star player: As they’re yet to concede, one has to look to the backline for the side’s star man. UYAFC’s Chris Grayland has been as solid as expected and is yet to force his left back out of the squad because of extra-marital affairs. Ben Smith also deserves a mention for his consistent presence going forward.
Biggest Name On Campus: Josh ‘Tank’ Barker – last year’s performance for the seconds against Vanbrugh firsts has become the stuff of Goodricke legend and the midfielder continues to impress.
Seconds spotlight: A terrific 6-0 win over Derwent thirds, with braces for captain Nick Dheir and Christian Hammer, was followed by a 2-0 defeat by a Mark Johnson-inspired James firsts. They remain well-placed in Group Four.
If they were a World Cup team: Netherlands – capable of some stunning stuff, but likely to suffer at the hands of grittier teams.
Mia’s Main Man: Matt Whelan – Jamie Carragher points
Next Fixture: Wentworth 1sts (Thursday, 12pm)
Performance so far: A disappointing result against Alcuin belies a half-decent start for Matt Hallam’s side. Dubious decisions may have been hard to take but the temptation to point to past wrongs will only act to their detriment.
If they instead push on the considerable talent present throughout the side should see them make the semis, possibly the finals, with comfort. Do not write them off.
Star Player: With former Uni President Greg Gardner pulling out just prior to kick off, Ric Burne was left a sizeable responsibility at the heart of defence against Alcuin which he handled with aplomb.
BNOC: Seconds player Steve Miller – head of doorsafe and campus icon.
Seconds: One win and one draw so far.
World cup team: Italy – not as strong as last year.
Mia’s Main Man: Ben Smith – munchkin points
Next Fixture: Vanbrugh 2nds (June 1st, 3pm)
Performance so far: After recording the best possible start against a fellow tournament rival, confidence will be at its zenith in the title-holders’ camp.
With their main men firing when they most need it they will hope to top their group and receive the best possible, and least tiring, route to the final. They have responded to a stern test – can they now push on even further?
Star Player: In a team of such of talented players it can be difficult for a captain to command respect but Miles McDermott (left) does it every single time Alcuin play. As tireless as he is skilful, he may be the key.
BNOC: Udy Onwudike – some say that he’s terrified of ducks, and that there’s an airport in Russia named after him… all we know is, that he’s guaranteed at least a 20 minute cameo every game.
Seconds: Only one match completed so far, a 3-0 defeat to Goodricke Firsts in Group One. James thirds next on Thursday.
World cup team: Brazil – the cup’s best footballing side have developed a backbone.
Mia’s Main Man: Udy Onwudike – muscle points
Next Fixture: Wentworth 2nds (June 1st, 2pm)
Performance so far: The stars of the show so far. The fact that Mark Lund has said that their campaign thus far has been “a solid start, but nothing more” is ominous for their contenders and displays his understanding that they are yet to be really tested. They have scored 14 goals without once conceding in the opening two weeks of the tournament.
Star Player: Their side boasts an embarrassment of riches going forwards and it’s hard to pick a star man. Joe Brennan has bagged himself two goals, Ash Daly has been influential and Alex Tringham has also managed to score two goals, despite playing in defence. However, the award would have to go to Tom Ragan, who finds himself joint top-scorer in the competition with four goals.
BNOC: Mark Lund – York Sport’s new College Sport officer has apparently attended every game so far. Bored?
Seconds: Overwhelmed by James firsts in their opening match, they succumbed to a 3-0 defeat. However, they will hope to pick up a win against Derwent thirds this week.
World cup team: Spain – best players, best form and deserved favourites, but will they choke before the end?
Mia’s Main Man: Ash Daly – faf award
Next Fixture: Vanbrugh Firsts (Friday, 3pm)
Performance so far: It seems that Vanbrugh will do the same thing that England do in every major tournament; get through the group stages only to crash out at the quarter-final stages. The only difference is The Sun won’t cover their exit in quite the same way. Their one game so far has been a resounding success, winning 7-0 can never be a bad day at the office, but it seems they might need more if they are to pose a serious threat as the tournament progresses.
Star Player: Rory Delap has re-invigorated the long throw, it is now very much au fait, and Dan Hewitt has been taking full advantage wielding his missiles to great effect. He is also a captain that always drives his team forward, and thus he wins his team’s star man award so far.
BNOC: Phil Taylor – enjoyed a reasonable darts career before moving to the Astro.
Seconds: Needed a last minute equaliser to salvage a point against the thirds but put in a much-improved display in defeat against Alcuin firsts.
World cup team: Germany – not amongst the favourites but never write them off.
Mia’s Main Man: Ben Stanier – beard points
Next Fixture: Halifax 1sts (Friday, 3pm)
Performance so far: Two strong performances have turned them from strong outsiders to real contenders. Strength in depth and the confidence of UYAFC firsts’ skipper Mark Mcleod in the midfield make them an intimidating proposition for even the stingiest of defences. The back four have also looked solid, with no goals conceded thus far.
Star Player: A really tough decision; after four goals, two of them absolute scorchers, and two Man of the Match performances in their two games played, perhaps Mark Johnson deserves it.
BNOC: Alex Collins – reigned supreme as university fourth’s skipper for roughly 363 days. Has given many a college player a taste of UYAFC action.
Seconds: A 2-1 reverse against Langwith was not the start they would have envisaged, although a fixture against hapless Goodricke thirds presents the perfect opportunity to get off the mark on Friday.
World cup team: England – they undoubtedly have the players but will the perennial underachievers become the sum of their parts on their biggest stage?
Mia’s Main Man: James Loftus – dimple points
Next Fixture: Langwith 1sts (June 3rd, 12pm)
Performance so far: Victorious against Derwent thirds but it wasn’t plain sailing. On another day they may have come unstuck. They looked better when they tried to play the ball on the ground, utilising their effective frontline. However, they are doing little to suggest they will confound expectations and may still be made to sweat by a useful Halifax seconds. Having said that, after a season where Blackpool find themselves in the Premier League, anything can happen.
Star Player: Paddy Sloane was the difference in their only match so far, but strike partner Bruce Starkey is still the focal point of the side.
BNOC: Jez Hann – reports in the national press link the diminutive Croatian with a summer move to Manchester United.
Seconds: A bipolar start – beat James seconds 2-1 but crashed to a heavy 6-0 loss against Halifax firsts. They certainly win the award for honesty; describing themselves as “useless” after the match against Halifax.
World cup team: North Korea – glory days are far behind them.
Mia’s Main Man: No one
Next Fixture: Goodricke 2nds (Today, 3pm)
Performance so far: The neutral’s favourites; always valiant, rarely successful. If they get anywhere in the tournament Dan Horsfall should knock on Roy Hodgson’s door and take his Manager of the Year award; only if Roy doesn’t mind though. They won their first game 1-0 against Derwent seconds and look as if they could get out of their group. Hopes of anything to erase memories of their consistently poor showing in the Autumn and Spring term seem very unlikely but the hearty cries of ‘Wenty’ from the touchlines will certainly play their part. If there were awards for touchline enthusiasm the cup would already be theirs.
Star Player: Their star man simply has to be Samik Datta, unrelentingly enthusiastic and not short of talent. He has pace in abundance and is always his side’s best attacking outlet.
World cup team: New Zealand – no chance.
BNOC: Dan Horsfall – not only keeps for the seconds but coaches the firsts. All round Wentworth hero and prolific Nouse commenter.
Mia’s Main Man: Andy Suggitt – Milkybar kid points
Next Fixture: Goodricke 1sts (Thursday, 12pm)