How to win at college football: the Maestro speaks

Fresh from guiding the Robinson First Team through a successful Division 3 Campaign, MACKS BOUGEARD (deputy-vice captain in charge of free-kicks and penalties) reveals the 6 point plan which brought him all of his glory

Blues CUAFC Falcons football Heskey tactics


The game is won and lost inside the opposition’s head. Any chance you get, abuse someone. If the referee seems particularly strict, ask him “What’s with all the cards ref? Is it your birthday?” At this point a teammate needs to be on hand to jump in with “It can’t be, referees don’t get birthday cards because they haven’t got any mates. They’re referees.” Alternatively you could try forging an alliance with your opposite number. This is typically done between striker and defender. When the ball is at the other end of the pitch casually saunter up to your opponent and, with a devil-may-care attitude that flies in the face of conventional sporting rivalry,  ask “How you doing this season?”.

The 21st century Romeo and Juliet. The love that dare not speak its name (Or is that rugby?).

Have Some Exotic Foreign Players

The game is won and lost on the players at your disposal. It doesn’t matter how good they are. At this level, talent is meaningless. A fancy-dan European from Spain or France is useful. If you can somehow find a South-American, then that’s excellent. Their samba way of life might mean they miss a few games, and come the winter months they will struggle (they lack the temperament), but it’d be really cool to have a player with only one name like Pele or Garrincha or Emile. If you can’t procure any of the above, players of other less traditionally footballing ethnicities can still add a certain spice to the line-up.


Having an Emile is essential

Every team needs an Emile

Be Tactically Innovative

The game is won and lost on a tactical level. Loudly announce before the start of any match that you will be playing with a back 3. If you are ever questioned of your own role within this team, proclaim “I am the libero”. If you feel the message is still unclear, feel free to add “The Bielsafication allows me to play more vertically”. Just let the other team know that you are au-fait with rudimentary footballing tactics.


Al Pacino told us in that film that it’s the inches that win you games. Next time there’s a corner make sure that you ask “who’s marking whom”. This level of attention to detail may appear superfluous in the sporting environment, but it really is good practice to remain vigilant.

Don’t Pick Any Full-Backs

The game is won and lost positionally. No-one likes fullbacks. No-one respects fullbacks. Fullbacks are the goalkeepers of the football world.


Football, like Yahtzee, is a numbers game. If you’re playing in a division that allows rolling subs, then you should be aiming to take a squad of roughly 30-40 players to each game (This is NOT a minimum number). Every time the ball goes out of play, make a change. The goalkeeper is allowed to stay the same, if he has brought his own gloves.  Ideally this strategy should be coupled with rule 3, so each time a new player comes on you alter the formation slightly.

And there you go. “Voilà” as Lionel Messi would say.