Roses 2015 Preview: Men’s Football

Men’s football has been fallow ground for York in recent Roses tournaments. Can they convert their BUCS progress into points?

Image: James Hostford

Image: James Hostford

Fixtures

Men’s 1sts: Saturday, 11:00, 22 Acres
Men’s 2nds: Saturday, 14:00, 22 Acres
College League A Winners: Sunday, 12:00, 22 Acres
Men’s 3rds: Sunday, 14:00, 22 Acres
College League B Winners: Sunday, 14:00, 22 Acres

2014 Result

Men’s 1sts: drew 2-2 (Last 4 Roses: DLLW)
Men’s 2nds: lost 0-3 (Last 4 Roses: LLLW)
College League A Winners: lost 1-5 (Last 4 Roses: LLLW)
Men’s 3rds: lost 2-4 (Last 4 Roses: LLLW)
College League B Winners: lost 1-3 (Last 4 Roses: LLW)

Points Available: 9

Twitterati

York (@UYAFC): 572 followers
Lancaster (@LancsUniMFC): 133followers

Inside Track: Garo “Quicksilver” Heath, Press & Publicity

How has the club done this season?

UYAFC Firsts midfield Chris Osbourne hooks the ball across goal in a recent BUCS clash. Image: James Hostford

UYAFC Firsts midfielder Chris Osbourne hooks the ball across goal in a recent BUCS clash. Image: James Hostford

UYAFC have had a very strong season this year. After achieving promotion last year, the first and second teams quickly established themselves in their new BUCS leagues and showed they belonged at this higher level. The 2’s achieved a comfortable fourth place finish while the 1’s finished third, narrowly behind the top two. The 3’s also attained a solid third place finish in their league.

What are you expecting from Lancaster?

In recent years we have been second best to most Lancastrian sides so we are certainly expecting three tough matches. Lancaster are always very physical but if we match them in that department our quality on the ball should show. The club have been playing some fantastic football this year so we are very confident of avenging previous results.

Which individual players should we look out for?

Josh ‘The Moose’ Bew has been in fine goal scoring form this season for the 1s and having bagged two goals in last year’s opening ceremony we are expecting something similar again this year. Ryan Gwinnett pulls the strings in midfield for the second team while Dyaus Gohil-Patel will create numerous chances on the wing for the threes.

Why should people come and watch your sport?

Besides the current England manager, Roy Hodgson, being there?

Football always attracts huge crowds, which will create a fantastic atmosphere to be part of. With a whole host of talent on show you can expect three action-packed matches filled with electrifying attacking play, huge challenges and plenty of goals. Nothing beats witnessing a 30 yard screamer or the euphoria of a last minute winner so. We would all greatly appreciate your support in what is a huge fixture for the club.

Nouse Verdict

The White Rose will hope England manager Roy Hodgson is their lucky charm on Saturday. Hodgson is due to honour the memory of the 56 supporters who perished in the Valley Parade fire by attending Bradford City against Barnsley in the afternoon, but he could still make an appearance alongside FA Chairman Greg Dyke as York look to seal their first victory since 2011 in the Men’s Firsts.

The First XI are well equipped to challenge. They have maintained an unbeaten home record in BUCS games this season, and their 4-3-3 system- with an unerring emphasis on shifting the ball wide- has served them well. Having played their games on the true surface of the 3G at York Sport Village, some adaptation to the rougher terrain of 22 Acres may be in order.

The 1st’s back five is exemplary at this level. They are a well-drilled unit and Ralph Gill, ruled out of the concluding games of the season through injury, should return for Roses. Joe Fox, player of the season, has dictated games from left-back and never fails to find a Black and Gold jersey with possession. In the midfield three, Chris Osbourne exercises discipline as the holding midfielder and Joe Easter and Conor McCoy look after the artistry. Further forward, Garo Heath will catch the eye with his pace from the left flank.

The 2nd’s, skippered by Mark Askham, have had an inconsistent season. Perhaps their best display came in the last game of the campaign, a 0-0 draw at home against high-flying Northumbria. They suffered a painful collapse against a formidable Durham side, ending 6-1 in arrears. In this fixture, the White Rose should be bolstered by the experience of Tom Shelbourn, the exuberance of Matt Coathup and the exactions of Andrew Naylor in midfield.

Since the 2011 whitewash, the only point UYAFC have picked up at Roses was a 2-2 draw in last year’s opening ceremony. They should easily better this paltry return this time round.

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