With the start of a new term, the sporting folk of York will breathe a huge sigh of relief as their summer of athletic abstinence comes to an end.
One of the most hotly anticipated events is the restart of the college leagues, which offer a chance to people of all abilities to play competitive sport without the stress of University-level matches.
Football is almost certainly the most prestigious college sport, and this year’s competitions promise to be extremely competitive.
With three different colleges winning the Winter League, Spring League and the coveted College Cup (won by Derwent, James and Vanbrugh respectively last year), the margins between the sides in the firsts leagues are extremely narrow. Given a run of form, any side could potentially win the league.
Vanbrugh’s tenacious Johnny Grout, midfield battler and new captain has told Nouse about his side’s ambitions for the coming season.
“I think our aim has to be to build on our success from last year,” he said.
“Winning the College Cup was a massive achievement for the side, and with a good intake of talent at trials we can kick on and hopefully make Vanbrugh the top college side.”
Halifax are arguably still the team to beat though.
Despite a dry spell in terms of success and a heart-breaking penalty shootout loss in the College Cup, the amount of University players at their disposal means they remain a threat to any side they face.
James and Derwent, as the other two giants of the college football world, are also going to be worth watching as always.
You can always count on the remaining colleges to provide a few upsets at the season unfolds, and Langwith’s progress as a sporting college should be observed with great interest this year.
Ever the underdogs in sporting competition, the increased number in students following the move to Hes East and its proximity to the new York Sport Village mean that Langwith has the potential to break into the upper echelons of the college sport hierarchy.
It is extremely difficult to predict a winner at this early stage in the season, as traditionally a lot depends on chancing upon a sizeable pool of talent in the Fresher’s trials. These take place over the following week, with league matches beginning on the weekend of Week Two.
College rugby, meanwhile, is undergoing a major transition, with matches being played on campus for the first time.
This move will hopefully drive an increase in interest, with certain colleges often struggling to field full teams.
Derwent are, by far, the side to beat, thrashing Alcuin 64-0 in the College Final in an incredibly dominant display.
However, Alcuin will almost certainly rival Derwent, as will James.
The gap in quality between sides is much larger than in football, but it will certainly be interesting to see how sides such as Halifax, Goodricke and Vanbrugh are affected by the move to 22 acres.
Hockey enjoyed increased popularity with a successful introduction of a summer College Cup, with Halifax being the major force.
The final of this Cup was competed between the Halifax 1sts and 2nds sides, which indicates the strength in depth that this college wields.
There are 11 other college sports played competitively throughout the year: badminton, basketball, cricket, darts, netball, pool, rounders, squash, table tennis, tennis, volleyball and women’s football.